Hurricane watch issued for Cuba - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hurricane watch issued for Cuba

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

CAMAGUEY, Cuba (AP) - Forecasters say Paloma is weakening to a Category 2 hurricane over east-central Cuba, but the powerful storm has downed power lines and flooded the coast.

Update, SUN 3:45 PM: Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated on the island, which is still recovering from two devastating storms earlier this hurricane season.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 100 mph (155 kph) at about 1 a.m. EST Sunday.

Paloma made landfall near Santa Cruz del Sur late Saturday as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm.

It is expected to continue lose strength and hit the central Bahamas by Sunday night or Monday. It is not expected to affect the U.S. mainland.

Update, FRI 9 AM: A hurricane watch has been issued for parts of Cuba as Paloma continues barreling toward the Cayman Islands.

Watches have been issued for the provinces of Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Granma.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Cayman Islands, and the Category 1 storm is expected to pass near there late Friday or early Saturday.

At 7 a.m. EST, Paloma was about 85 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman. The storm is expected to keep gaining momentum as it moves across the Caribbean. It could become a Category 2 hurricane later Friday and may reach Category 3 intensity by Saturday.

The storm's winds are reaching 80 mph. Paloma is moving to the north at 8 mph and is expected to turn to the northeast late Friday.

UPDATE, THU 3 PM: Forecasters say Tropical Storm Paloma is strengthening and turning to the north as it approaches the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Thursday the storm could make landfall over Cuba as a hurricane by Sunday.

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Cayman Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for parts of Nicaragua and Honduras, where several inches of rain are expected.

Paloma's center is located about 235 miles south of Grand Cayman and was moving north about 7 mph with sustained winds of 60 mph.

Forecasters say it could turn into hurricane with winds of 75 mph or more later Thursday night or early Friday. It's expected to make a gradual turn to the northeast later Friday or Saturday.

Previously: Forecasters say Tropical Storm Paloma has formed off the coast of Nicaragua with winds reaching 40 mph, and could strengthen into a hurricane by Friday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami shows the storm could make landfall over Cuba as a hurricane. The track shows it could weaken and continue toward the Bahamas. A tropical storm watch has been issued for parts of Honduras and Nicaragua, and several inches of rain are expected in those countries.

Forecasters say the storm is centered about 70 miles east-northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras border and may also hit the Cayman Islands.

Paloma is moving toward the north-northwest at about 7 mph. It is expected to gradually turn toward the north, then to the northeast toward Cuba.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.