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Archive for Friday, November 7, 2008

Paloma strengthens to hurricane, turns north

November 7, 2008

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— Paloma strengthened to a hurricane with winds near 75 mph on Thursday as it churned toward the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to continue strengthening as it moves north and could become a major Category 3 hurricane by Saturday as it approaches Cuba.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands, where the storm could dump up to 8 inches of rain, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Paloma may make landfall in Cuba over the weekend, and Jamaica was warned to also monitor its progress, the center said.

The Cayman Islands planned to close its main airport on Friday morning, although no mandatory evacuation will be issued, Tourism Minister Charles Clifford said.

"I hope I'm right, but I don't think this will be a major event," he said.

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