Tropical Storm Paula has been upgraded to Hurricane Paula as of the 5am advisory from the NHC. Hurricane Paula is forcast to strengthen to a possible category two hurricane, but this will for a very short time. Heat Oceanic content is very high right now and for the next few days but the atmosheric conditions will become less conducive for development as southwesterly upper level winds are forecast will begin to impact Hurricane Paula and a day or two later, dry air will be pushing southward and toward the center of circulation. Paula will is forecast to track to the NW then northward around the western periphery of a Mid-to Upper level ridge that is located over the northern Caribbean Sea. Model guidance is poor at best as there is no model consensus. The GFDL wants to make Paula a stronger system and head NE into Cuba and then into the Bahamas whereas the GFS, ECMWF, and HWRF want to keep Paula as a shallower and weaker system and keep Paula into the Western Caribbean and in some cases have landfall into Nicaragua. Since the forecast is for the upper level winds along with the drier air, the forecast is to follow the latter models BUT since the model guidance confidence is low, the GFDL guidance cannot be ruled out.
ADDENDUM: At 1:45pm EST the recon plane found winds of over 85knots or about 100MPH. Hurricane Paula is now a category 2 storm. Further strengthening for the next day or two is still forecast.
Below is the GFDL Model:
Below are the GFS, ECMWF, & HWRF Models: