Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Paloma hits Cuba hard; heads for the Bahamas

Hurricane Paloma slammed into Cuba and Grand Cayman Island as a dangerous Cat 4 storm. Crossing the mountainous islands tore Paloma apart reducing the storm's intensity down to a Tropical Storm as it heads towards the Bahamas. Strong wind shear along with slower forward motion across Cuba has essentially torn the storm apart.

The 5 day track shows Paloma turning towards the north on Monday, with the intensity dropping further to a tropical depression.

On an island still reeling from the destruction of two recent hurricanes, early damage reports were limited. But state media said the late-season storm toppled a major communications tower, interrupted electricity and phone service and sent sea water almost a mile (1.5 kilometers) inland, ravaging a coastal community near where it made landfall.

No storm-related deaths were immediately reported.

Vicente de la O of Cuba's national power company told state television that damage to the power grid was far less than that caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in late August and early September.

Paloma roared ashore near Santa Cruz del Sur late Saturday as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane but quickly lost strength, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Forecasters said the Cuban and Bahamian governments discontinued all warnings associated with Paloma by Sunday morning.

Waves more than 10 feet (3 meters) high leveled about 50 modest houses along the coast of Santa Cruz del Sur. Civil Defense authorities said altogether 435 homes in the community were destroyed.

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