Hurricane watch issued for parts of Cuba

MIAMI, FL [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Watches have been issued for the provinces of Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas and Granma.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Cayman Islands, and the Category 1 storm is expected to pass near there late Friday or early Saturday.

At 7 a.m. EST, Paloma was about 85 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman. The storm is expected to keep gaining momentum as it moves across the Caribbean. It could become a Category 2 hurricane later Friday and may reach Category 3 intensity by Saturday.

The storm's winds are reaching 80 mph. Paloma is moving to the north at 8 mph and is expected to turn to the northeast late Friday.

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