2008’s Atlantic Tropical season isn’t done yet. I saw the potential for a storm sometime in the past couple of days, but with the 2008 election taking most of my “free time” attention, I hadn’t blogged about it. Well, the potential for a storm turned into the latest 2008 Atlantic named system. Meet Paloma:
Center located at 17.2N, 81.8W; maximum sustained winds of 75mph; moving N @ 8mph; minimum pressure of 987mb.
Hurricane Paloma is located in the western Caribbean, between Nicaragua and Cuba. Unfortunately, she is headed for Cuba, which will experience its fourth landfalling system just this year. Numerous deaths and extensive damage has been done to the island this year. Paloma will likely move over the center of the island.
Hurricane Paloma is expected to turn toward the northeast starting tomorrow night. That motion should be maintained over the following four days. On her way toward Cuba, Paloma is forecasted to strengthen to Category 2 status tomorrow night, then Category 3 status Saturday morning. Then, slight weakening is forecasted to occur prior to Paloma’s landfall. The storm will of course weaken as she makes her way across Cuba. When Paloma enters the Atlantic Sunday night, she is forecasted to be a Category 1 storm again. Further weakening to Tropical Storm strength is expected as she makes her way through the Bahamas. She could still be a Tropical Storm Tuesday in the open Atlantic.
Paloma is the 16th named storm of the season. She is the 8th hurricane of the season. If she manages to strengthen to Category 3 status, she will be the 5th major hurricane of the season. After the season, the National Hurricane Center will release a collection of interesting statistics, such as total storm days and total hurricane days this season. Comparing that information to previous years’ will be interesting, to say the least.