MIAMI (AP) -- A hurricane watch has been issued for parts of Cuba as Paloma continues barreling toward the Cayman Islands.
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.
For the latest on Hurricane Palmoa, visit our Visit our Online Hurricane Center.