A late-season storm, Paloma developed as a tropical depression in the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras and Nicaragua on November 5, 2008. By the end of the following day, the storm had become a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) and stronger gusts. The National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would probably continue to intensify into a Category 3 storm as it moved northeast towards Cuba. The storm was forecast to reach Cuba on November 9.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured this image of Paloma at 11:33 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 6 (4:33 UTC on November 7). Rain rates, as measured by TRMM’s Precipitation Radar, are displayed on top of a visible image of the clouds. Though an eye was not yet visible in the clouds, the rainfall was organized into a distinct eye around the center of the storm. The eyewall includes areas of very heavy rain, shown in red.