October 12, 2010

Hurricane Paula's Impacts Span Cancun to Florida Keys

Category 2 Hurricane Paula will pass dangerously close to the major resorts of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Wednesday, while sending rounds of heavy rain all the way into South Florida through the end of the week.

It is still not out of the question for the storm to take a northeastward turn into the Florida Straits late this week or beyond.

As of 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center reports that Paula was located approximately 140 miles south-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, with motion to the north-northwest at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds had increased to 100 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane.

Paula is currently a compact storm with hurricane-force winds extending only 10 miles from the center. Tropical storm-force winds, which are winds between 39 and 73 mph, extend outward up to 60 miles.

Bands of heavy rain associated with Paula are already extending well north and east of the storm, affecting areas from the Cayman Islands to Cuba, the Florida Keys and South Florida.

More rounds of heavy rain will continue in these places through the end of the week with flash flooding likely to become a problem at times. Travel and sporting events can also be disrupted.

While most computer models show Paula meandering slowly around the northwestern Caribbean through the upcoming weekend, some still bring it northeastward into the Florida Straits as early as Friday and over the Bahamas this weekend.

Therefore, people in the Florida Keys, South Florida and the Bahamas should still keep track of this system and check back with AccuWeather.com for updates.

By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist - Accuweather.com

No comments:

Post a Comment