It's not coming here!
Paloma continues to be a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph. The hurricane will move north, passing over or very close to the Cayman Islands on Friday. It will make landfall over east-central or eastern Cuba on Sunday.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands.
As of 4:00 a.m. EST, Friday, Hurricane Paloma was located at 17.8 north, 81.7 west or about 100 miles south of Grand Cayman and about 325 miles west of Kingston, Jamaica. Paloma has a central minimum pressure of 981 mb or 28.97 inches. The storm was moving north at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph along with higher gusts.
Paloma continues to intensify due to low shear, warm water and no important interaction with land. The area where Paloma is located is historically a favorable area for strengthening during October and November. Since we see no change in the environment around the system, Paloma should intensify further Friday, becoming a Category 2 storm. It is probable that Paloma could end up strengthening to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall over Cuba on Sunday.
Paloma is being steered by winds on the west side of a large upper-level high pressure area over the eastern Caribbean. The oval shaped high will cause Paloma to turn more north-northeast during the day Friday, then more northeast Friday night and Saturday. On this course the system is expected to hit the Cayman Islands on Friday with hurricane-force winds. Paloma will bring a 4- to 8-foot storm surge along with large and battering waves to these islands. Rainfall will average 6-12 inches. Once Paloma moves away from the Cayman Islands the system will take aim for east central Cuba. The system will make landfall over east central Cuba around midday on Sunday as a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds, torrential, perhaps life threatening rainfall will affect eastern Cuba during Sunday. Paloma will start to experience increased shear on Sunday. That along with interaction with land will cause Paloma to weaken considerably Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. By the time Paloma reaches the central Bahamas on Monday it should be a tropical storm. Beyond Monday, Paloma will transition from a pure tropical system into a non-tropical system sometime on Tuesday and Tuesday night. The storm could pass close to Bermuda Wednesday night and Thursday of next week.
The major effects of Paloma are expected to stay south of the Florida Peninsula, but rain bands could reach as far north as the Keys.
Interests in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas are advised to keep abreast of the strength and path of Paloma.