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Paula weakens as it nears Cuba

Heavy rain and gusty winds are forecast
Heavy rain and gusty winds are forecast

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

October 14, 2010 — Tropical Storm Paula is set to give Cuba a good drenching of rain, but the storm has weakened since it sideswiped Mexico on Wednesday.

Satellite imagery of Paula swirling
Satellite imagery of Paula swirling

Tropical Storm Paula is a small storm and is weakening, but it has already packed quite the punch.

The former hurricane sideswiped Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to Cancun and Cozumel. The eye of the storm never officially made landfall and little damage was reported. By late Wednesday, Paula had veered toward northern Cuba, another major tourism area filled with waterfront resorts.

Heavy rain and gusty winds have already been reported in Pinar del Rio. Paula is set to charge across the country's tobacco growing region and eventually Havana. Local officials said freshly planted fields of tobacco, from which world-famous Cuban cigars are made, had been covered.

There have not been any evacuations as of yet, but locals were busy preparing for the worst on Wednesday. They boarded up homes and stocked up on food.

Paula could roll across the northern coast of Cuba
Paula could roll across the northern coast of Cuba

Forecasters at the Cuban weather service say that the storm will bring much-needed rain to the western half of the country.

In some areas, Cuba is still recovering from three powerful hurricanes that struck in 2008, which resulted in $10 billion in damage.

A tropical storm watch has also been issued for parts of the Florida Keys.

To stay updated on the current storm situation, head to our Tropical Storm Centre.

With files from Andrea Stockton and Lisa Varano

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