MIAMI, Florida (CNN) – Tropical Storm Paula was moving along the north coast of western Cuba on Thursday, bringing heavy rain and high winds to the island nation despite being downgraded from hurricane status, forecasters said.
As of 11 a.m., the center of Paula was about 110 miles (180 kilometers) west-southwest of the Cuban capital, Havana, the Miami, Florida-based National
Hurricane Center said. It was moving east-northeast at about 6 mph (9 kph), but was expected to turn east later Thursday.
"On this track, Paula will continue to hug the north coast of western Cuba or move inland over Cuba today," forecasters said. "Tropical storm-force winds should be spreading across western Cuba today, primarily along the north coast. Winds could begin to increase over the lower and middle Florida Keys late today."
The storm's maximum sustained winds were 70 mph (110 kph), just below hurricane status. Paula remained a small storm, with tropical storm-force winds extending 45 miles (75 kilometers) from its center.