Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hurricane Paula: October 13, Update A

I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm going to anyway. Paula has been a very well behaved so far. I think the last time I said that about a storm, it went and did some naughty things. But I have high expectations that Paula will be good. :-)
She's currently centered about 21.9N, 85.7W and is heading NNE at 5mph. Winds are 85mph, central pressure is 992mb. This makes her a mid-sized cat 1 storm (range: 74-95mph). I agree with this. Her track is a little north of the forecast one we saw yesterday, and she passed through the Yucatan Channel with ease. She's heading towards the northern coast of Cuba now. The wind shear I mentioned yesterday has really kicked in and on satellite images the convection is mostly northeast of the center of circulation (in the direction of southern Florida), which is a good indication of wind shear. The track looks like it recurves from NNE to NE to ENE and then E and SE into Cuba, where the storm dissipates. There's a good chance she will stay on a more ENE/eastward track for longer than expected, skirting the northern coast of Cuba.  
In the face of such strong wind shear (it is ~25-35 mph) she will continue to decrease in intensity, so I don't expect her to be a hurricane for too much longer. This is in agreement with the NHC as well.
She is still a dainty little thing with hurricane force winds extending only 10 miles from the center. I've walked more than that in a day! (although not under those weather conditions). There's an interesting statement on the NHC website: A HURRICANE IS CROSSING BETWEEN THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA AND EASTERN YUCATAN...BUT WITHOUT MODERN TECHNOLOGY NO ONE WOULD KNOW IT WAS THERE. Almost true ... I suspect that in this particular location, ships might have had a bit of a clue. But it does raise the point that the increase in hurricanes in recent years has been, in part, because of improvements in modern technology. Those that form away from shipping lanes, such as in the eastern Atlantic, would have gone undetected in the past.  
Anyone taking bets on if this is the last named storm of the season? ;-)
More tomorrow!
Ciao (... I still always think of Eddie Izzard on a scooter when I write that),
p.s. my twinterview went well I think (I hope!). I forgot to write 'Hi!' and little things like that, but it was fun. :-)
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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.

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