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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 11/ 8/2008

Powerful Hurricane Paloma Eyes Cuba

By Jason Samenow
paloma.jpg
Satellite image of Hurricane Paloma from 9:15 a.m. Courtesy NOAA.

Paloma strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane overnight, with maximum winds to 140 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center:

PALOMA IS TIED FOR THE SECOND STRONGEST ATLANTIC HURRICANE EVER
NOTED IN NOVEMBER...THE STRONGEST BEING LENNY IN 1999.

Paloma is one of only five hurricanes to reach Category 3 or higher intensity during November since 1944 (see my post from earlier in the week for more November tropical cyclone statistics). Having already slammed the Cayman islands, it is forecast to approach the coast of south central Cuba late tonight or early Sunday. The National Hurricane Center projects the following the impacts:

Keep reading for more on Paloma. For the local weather forecast through Veteran's Day, see our full forecast.

*Storm surge flooding of 17 to 23 feet accompanied by large battering waves near and to the east of where the center makes landfall along Cuba's south coast.
*5-10 inches of rain, with isolated 20" totals; with the risk of flash floods and mudslides
*Category 3 intensity winds (of 111 mph or higher)

Paloma is forecast to substantially weaken as it crosses Cuba and is not likely to significantly recover when it re-emerges over water due to strong wind shear. Hopefully, Paloma is the last in what has been a long and destructive hurricane season.

Track Paloma using our Interactive Storm Tracking Tool

By Jason Samenow  | November 8, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Comments

I'll keep the people of Cuba in my prayers. It seems like they go through more hurricanes than anyone else.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | November 8, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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