The alarm, issued by the Civil Defense authorities, means that residents must put in place planned measures to ensure population and economic resources protection.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio, La Habana and Ciudad de la Habana.
The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said in its 7 am advisory that Hurricane Paula, carrying maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, was hugging the north coast of the island.
I have to admit I was not paying much attention to this system that formed near the coast of Central America - but it has turned into Hurricane Paula and looks like it will be quite an issue for at least Cuba:
HURRICANE PAULA DISCUSSION NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182010
1000 AM CDT WED OCT 13 2010
PAULA IS A SMALLER THAN USUAL HURRICANE AND THE EYE HAS BEEN TRACKED
ALL MORNING WITH BOTH WESTERN CUBA AND CANCUN RADARS. THE
HURRICANE...ALTHOUGH SMALL...HAS AN EXCELLENT PRESENTATION WITH A
CLOSED RING OF DEEP CONVECTION DEFINING THE EYEWALL. VISIBLE IMAGES
SHOW A HINT OF AN EYE SURROUNDED BY VERY DEEP CONVECTION. GIVEN THE
PREVIOUS WIND MEASUREMENTS FROM THE HURRICANE HUNTER A LITTLE MORE
THAN 6 HOURS AGO AND CURRENT SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES...THE
INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 85 KNOTS. PAULA IS ALREADY REACHING
THE AREA OF VERY STRONG SHEAR...AND THE FACT THAT THE CYCLONE IS
FORECAST TO MOVE OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF WESTERN CUBA SHOULD
RESULT IN GRADUAL WEAKENING.
SATELLITE AND RADAR SHOW THAT PAULA HAS BEEN MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH
OR 005 DEGREES AT ABOUT 4 TO 5 KNOTS. HOWEVER...THE CYCLONE IS
ABOUT TO RECURVE AS IT BECOMES EMBEDDED IN THE WESTERLY FLOW
ASSOCIATED WITH THE BASE OF A DEEP MID-LATITUDE TROUGH. WE ARE
CONFIDENT THAT THE TURN WILL OCCUR SOON...BUT LESS CONFIDENT IN HOW
SHARP IT WILL BE. SOME RELIABLE MODELS MOVE THE CYCLONE TOWARD THE
EAST ACROSS CUBA AND OTHERS SHOW A MORE EAST-NORTHEASTWARD MOTION.
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST CALLS FOR A SHARP TURN TO THE EAST OVER OR
VERY NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF CUBA UNTIL DISSIPATION IN FOUR
GIVEN THE HIGH UNCERTAINTY IN BOTH TRACK AND INTENSITY...A TROPICAL
STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR A PORTION OF THE FLORIDA KEYS.