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Hurricane PAULETTE

Hurricane Paulette Discussion Number  25
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL172020
1100 PM AST Sat Sep 12 2020
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft made multiple passes 
through the center of Paulette earlier this evening. The plane 
reported max 850-mb flight-level winds of 78 kt and believable SFMR 
winds of 58 kt. A dropsonde in the southeast quadrant measured 
adjusted mean boundary layer winds of just over 60 kt while multiple 
center drops revealed that the minimum pressure is now down to 981 
mb. Taken together, these observations support an intensity of 65 
kt, making Paulette the 6th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season.
The plane found the Paulette has turned west-northwestward and is 
nearly exactly on the previous forecast track. With no major changes 
in the track guidance either, there is no reason to make any changes 
of note to the previous NHC track forecast at this time. A mid-level 
ridge building to the north of Paulette should keep the hurricane 
moving generally west-northwestward for the next day or so. The 
ridge and a mid-level trough to the west should then slide eastward 
by early Monday, causing Paulette to slow and turn northward, moving 
very near or over Bermuda Monday morning. Paulette is then forecast 
to turn northeastward and accelerate in that direction by Tuesday. 
The NHC forecast remains in the middle of the tightly clustered 
guidance suite at all forecast hours.
Paulette appears to be getting more vertically aligned as the shear 
that has affected the cyclone for the past several days slowly 
decreases. Further intensification appears likely through early 
Monday given the warm SSTs below Paulette and favorable upper-air 
environment that is expected to develop around the cyclone. Dry air 
in the surrounding environment could be a limiting factor, but all 
of the intensity guidance continues to indicate that Paulette will 
be a dangerous hurricane when it approaches Bermuda late Sunday and 
early Monday. Further intensification will then be possible for 
another day or so after the hurricane begins to move away from 
Bermuda and it could be near major hurricane strength by the middle 
of next week. The NHC intensity forecast is near the middle of the 
latest intensity guidance throughout the forecast period.
Key Messages:
1. Paulette is expected to approach Bermuda as a hurricane on Sunday 
and will be near the island Sunday night and Monday.  A prolonged 
period of strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall is expected 
on Bermuda beginning Sunday evening, and a hurricane warning is in 
effect for the island.  Preparations to protect life and property 
should be rushed to completion.
2. Swells produced by Paulette are affecting portions of the
Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and 
the east coast of the United States. These swells could cause
life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
INIT  13/0300Z 28.9N  59.7W   65 KT  75 MPH
 12H  13/1200Z 29.7N  61.6W   70 KT  80 MPH
 24H  14/0000Z 31.0N  63.8W   80 KT  90 MPH
 36H  14/1200Z 32.6N  65.0W   85 KT 100 MPH
 48H  15/0000Z 34.5N  64.0W   90 KT 105 MPH
 60H  15/1200Z 36.2N  61.0W   95 KT 110 MPH
 72H  16/0000Z 37.7N  57.5W   95 KT 110 MPH
 96H  17/0000Z 41.0N  49.0W   85 KT 100 MPH
120H  18/0000Z 43.5N  42.0W   70 KT  80 MPH
Forecaster Zelinsky