Paloma A Category 3; High Resolution Imagery

Hurricane Paloma is a major November hurricane now impacting the Cayman Islands. Panola is a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. The top image was captured by NASA’s MODIS imager. The colored image is an enhanced infrared image of Paloma. This IR image helps us to decipher the most intense portion of the system due to the cooler cloud tops.

Wes Wyatt
WVUA Chief Meteorologist

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Paloma Impacting Grand Cayman

…DANGEROUS MAJOR HURRICANE PALOMA CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN AS IT
SLOWLY APPROACHES GRAND CAYMAN…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO
COMPLETION.

A HURRICANE WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF
SANCTI SPIRITUS…CIEGO DE AVILA…CAMAGUEY AND LAS TUNAS. A
HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO
PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE IN EFFECT FOR
THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF GRANMA.  A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT
HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY
WITHIN 36 HOURS.  A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL
STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN CUBA AND THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS SHOULD
CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF PALOMA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 700 PM EST…0000Z…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PALOMA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 18.9 NORTH…LONGITUDE 81.1 WEST OR ABOUT 30 MILES…
50 KM…SOUTH OF THE EASTERN END OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 275
MILES…440 KM…SOUTHWEST OF CAMAGUEY CUBA.

PALOMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 6 MPH…9 KM/HR. A
GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST IS FORECAST TO OCCUR OVERNIGHT AND
THAT GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF PALOMA WILL PASS NEAR GRAND CAYMAN
TONIGHT…BE NEAR CAYMAN BRAC SATURDAY MORNING…AND BE APPROACHING
THE COAST OF CENTRAL CUBA LATE SATURDAY.

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT
INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 115
MPH…185 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PALOMA IS NOW A CATEGORY THREE
HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS
POSSIBLE THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING.  AFTERWARD…GRADUAL WEAKENING
IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN BY LATE SATURDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 25 MILES…35 KM…FROM
THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 120
MILES…195 KM.  DURING THE PAST HOUR…SEVERAL REPORTS OF SUSTAINED
WINDS NEAR 60 MPH…97 KM/HR…WITH GUSTS TO NEAR 80 MPH…130
KM/HR…HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM AMATEUR/HAM RADIO OPERATORS ON
GRAND CAYMAN.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE AS ESTIMATED FROM AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT DATA IS 962 MB…28.41 INCHES.

STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 7 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS…
ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES…IS EXPECTED
NEAR THE CENTER OF PALOMA IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.  STORM SURGE
FLOODING OF 8 TO 12 FEET IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE
THE CENTER OF PALOMA MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA.

PALOMA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO
10 INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND CENTRAL AND EASTERN CUBA WITH
ISOLATED MAXIMUM TOTALS OF 15 INCHES POSSIBLE. FLASH FLOOD AND
MUDSLIDES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY IN HIGHER TERRAIN.

REPEATING THE 700 PM EST POSITION…18.9 N…81.1 W.  MOVEMENT
TOWARD…NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 6 MPH.  MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…115
MPH.  MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…962 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
AT 1000 PM EST.

Friday Afternoon Discussion Update 4:18 PM

A cold front moved across the area today and the distribution of rain was quite widespread in nature. Places like Hamilton and Vernon received near and inch of rain while only a trace fell in the Tuscaloosa area. The rain seemed to dissipate along a line from Fayette to Tuscaloosa to Demopolis and then redevelopment occurred near the I-65 corridor. This is very bad news considering most of the area is about a foot below average in the rainfall department. You can expect a clear and chilly night for high school football…lows will be in the 40s tonight. We will have mostly sunny weather for this weekend. Both tomorrow and Sunday will be seasonably cool days; however, the nights will be very cold. Lows tomorrow night and Sunday night will be in the mid to upper 30s. Temperatures will be above freezing, although frosty conditions will be possible.

Clouds will begin to increase on Monday as a southerly flow develops over the state. Highs on Monday will approach the 70 degree mark and Monday night won’t be nearly as cold. The upper air pattern will create a more active weather setup for Alabama next week. A disturbance will drop into the region on Tuesday bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms. This feature will leave a stalled boundary over the region and this means we will remain mild through the mid portion of the week. A moist southwest flow aloft will provide a couple of waves of rain during the Wednesday and Thursday time frame. This period of unsettled weather will be topped off by a stronger storm system late in the week. This may bring a round of strong thunderstorms before drier air pushes into the state.

At this time Major Hurricane Paloma continues to churn towards Cuba. This system will make a landfall over the weekend and eventually return to open water by Monday as a weaker system, most likely a tropical storm. This system has already battered the Cayman Islands. Paloma should be positioned near the Bahamas early next week.

The weather is looking good for Alabama’s game in Baton Rouge tomorrow. You can expect a kickoff temperature in the low 70s, with a west wind. The sky will be mostly sunny. Be sure to grab a wind breaker as temperatures will be cooling into the 60s late in the game.

Wes Wyatt
WVUA Chief Meteorologist