The 16th named tropical system of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has formed. Tropical Storm Paula is churning in the Caribbean and is slowly drifting northwestward. As of 3 pm CDT Monday, Paula is moving to the northwest at 5-10 mph with sustained winds 60mph. Central pressure has fallen to 1000MB as determined by a hurricane hunter in the area. Heavy tropical downpours are already drenching Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Flash flooding will likely create mud slides in these central American countries this week. Hurricane warnings have already been issued for the Eastern Mexican coast to Cancun and Cozumel.
Hurricane models will pull the storm Northwest hugging the central American coastline with an eventual turn to the Northeast as a trough slips into the Eastern seaboard by midweek. After that the Eastern trough pulls away leaving Paula drifting in the Caribbean. If the storm stays over the Western Caribbean long enough rather than over land, a minimal hurricane could form by Tuesday. We'll be tracking the storm this week. Go to Hurricane Central for the latest updates on this developing storm.