Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hurricane Paula: October 12, Update A

As expected, Paula ramped right up in intensity over those lovely warm Caribbean waters, although she remained a dainty little thing (in size).  Sea surface temperatures are over 29 deg C, with waters warmer than 26.5 deg C in the upper 100-150m. All that lovely energy... yummy! ;-) It looks like an eye formed earlier today, but it's clouded over again. She's at about 19.2N, 86W, and heading NNW at 9mph. Her central pressure is now around 981mb, and winds are 100mph, making her a mid-sized cat 2 storm (range: 96-110mph). From the amount of convection in this system, she doesn't look as strong as most cat 2s - maybe a strong cat 1 actually - but I'll go with the official verdict.
The track has been adjusted to something that looks far more reasonable to me. Instead of doing loop-de-loops over the northwestern Caribbean, she's now going to make a northeastward turn that will take her towards Cuba. At the moment I think there's a pretty good chance she might move north of this, in which case southern (and southwestern) Florida will get a spot of windy and wet weather (anyone in the Keys on their honeymoon by any chance? Not that you'd be reading this. Oh well. Still, it'll be one of those 'holiday' adventures to talk about, won't it? It's been lovely and sunny and warm in the UK these past few days...). Looking at the satellite images, I see that southern Florida is already getting a spot of wet and thundery weather, which is connected to this Hurricane.
Her track will really determine the intensity. So far it's been fairly predictable because of the water temperatures and lack of wind shear. But depending on where she curves (which depends on the pressure fields), if she stays over water - through the Yucatan Strait and then the Straits of Florida - she might intensify further, in which case southern Florida and the Bahamas need to be ready with their rain coats. The one thing that will stop her from growing too much if she gets that far north will be wind shear, which gets stronger if she gets closer to southern Florida. If she curves over Cuba as the current center of cone track shows, I expect she'll decrease fairly rapidly because of the mountainous areas she's crossing.  
More on Paula tomorrow. All else is quiet. Dan P. reminded me that I forgot to post a twitter interview time for tomorrow - I think it will be 4pm my time, so 11am US East Coast time. Hmm... I suppose I ought to confirm that before tomorrow afternoon! ;-)
More tomorrow on the lovely Paula.
Toodle pip!
Blog archives at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

No comments: