Colleagues, FORECAST: HURRICANE PAULA is just about between the western tip of Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula with winds of 100 mph and barely a category 2 hurricane. Paula will now continue to weaken. PAULA will turn to the east in response to the frontal passage. As PAULA weakens, PAULA will turn south over central Cuba as a Tropical Storm. The faster the decay, the sharper the turn to the south. If it can hang on as a hurricane through tomorrow it will pass to the north of CUBA as a week hurricane, but that seems less and less likely. In any case, the strongest winds the Florida Keys will be of Tropical Storm strength, and most likely a little less than that. If you are going to Cozumel, the weather and seas just keeps looking better and better.
DISCUSSION: The stronger the storm, the more influence of the westerlies aloft. The weaker the storm, the more influence of the easterlies and the surface high in the Gulf of Mexico region, and a resultant sharper turn to the south over Cuba and a further weakening of PAULA.
NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow morning
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Peter S. Ray
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