New storm brewing in the Caribbean
UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: Tropical Storm Paula has formed today in the western Caribbean southeast of Cozumel, where hurricane warnings were posted today. Paula has top sustained winds of 60 mph. It was forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday, and to linger for several days this week off the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and its resorts.
An earlier post follows:
The National Hurricane Center has sent a hurricane hunter aircraft into a stormy region that appears to be gaining strength Monday in the western Caribbean. Forecasters are giving this disturbance an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. If it reaches tropical storm strength, it will become Tropical Storm Paula.
For now, the storm is located off the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras, moving west northwest at 10 mph. If it becomes a tropical storm, forecasters said:
"... TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND/OR WARNINGS WOULD BE
REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE COAST OF HONDURAS...BELIZE...AND THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY
RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF NICARAGUA...HONDURAS...THE
CAYMAN ISLANDS...BELIZE...AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS."
The Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico are the most likely places for late-season storms to form. They can threaten Florida and the American Southeast (map).