Cuba Says Ida to Become Hurricane

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Nov. 7 – The latest report from the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET) as well as the projections of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, show Tropical Storm Ida regaining hurricane status by late Saturday or early Sunday as it churns towards the Yucatan Channel.

A tropical storm warning is in place for both the Yucatan and Cuba’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio shows the NHC projection cone.  A hurricane watch is in effect for the Isle of Youth.

The Cuban weather forecasters continue to warn that rains in western Cuba, which includes the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Havana City, Havana Province and Matanzas, could receive between 2.5 and 7.5 inches of rain in the next 24 hours with some points up to 12.5 inches, especially in Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.

INSMET is also predicting sustained winds of 30-45 mph to be felt “especially on the north coast and far western Cuba.”   There will also be heavy sea swells on the North coast of western and central Cuba as well as the south coast of the western provinces.

Tropical Storm Ida’s winds are currently up to 70 mph (110 kms) as it moves at 11 mph over the western Caribbean waters.  The storm’s central pressure was pegged at 990 millibars.

A new advisory is due from INSMET at midnight EST.