Paula has just been named a Hurricane. This is a storm that formed in the northwestern Caribbean, just east of the Yucatan. Although the storm has the potential to become quite strong from very warm surface waters, shearing winds are likely to keep Paula from becoming well organized. Forcasts as to where this storm may go are all over the place It might round the Yucatan and head west into the Gulf of Mexico; possible but unlikely. It may head west after going north for a while, and go to the Atlantic, passing between southern Florida and Cuba. It may travel over western Cuba and curve south towards the central Caribbean. In any event, Paula will sit roughly where it is, not going anywhere fast, for a few days, then likely speed up and go somewhere. And, by the time that happens, we may have a prediction of the storm’s direction that is a bit more accurate and consistent.
The strength of the storm is linked to its likely direction. A weaker storm will head off to the Atlantic, a stronger storm will head down into the Caribbean, according the discussion at the National Hurricane Center.
There are currently hurricane warnings in effect for the coast of Mexico from Punta Gruesa north to Cabo Catoche. This includes Cozumel. There is as much as a 40% chance or so that areas within this warning zone will experience hurricane force winds. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for other regions outside of this zone.