Hurricane Paloma was well-formed, with distinctive spirals and a clear
eye on November 7, 2008, when the GOES satellite captured this image. The
storm formed off the coast of Nicaragua on November 5, and became a
hurricane the next day. When GOES captured this image, Paloma was moving
steadily north-northeast at 10 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour) on
course towards Cuba. As it moved over the warm waters of the Caribbean, it
strengthened. At 1:00 Eastern Standard time, about an hour before this image
was taken, the storm had sustained winds near 150 km/hr (90 mph) with
stronger gusts, said the National Hurricane Center. By 4:00, winds had
picked up to 165 km/hr (105 mph), making Paloma a Category 2 storm. It was
at this strength that the storm barreled into the Cayman Islands a short
time after this image was taken.
The National Hurricane Center forecast that Paloma would continue to
intensify through November 7, possibly reaching Category 3 status before
weakening on November 8. The storm was forecast to come ashore over Cuba on
November 8 and 9. The Cuban government has issued a hurricane warning to
four provinces, said the National Hurricane Center.
Bands of heavy rain circled the center of Hurricane Ida on November 8, when the storm was passing through the Yucatan Channel, but as the storm headed northward into the Gulf of Mexico on November 9, the rainfall bands became less organized.