It appears Paula may be one of the fastest growing storms on record reaching hurricane status in a mere 12 hours. The first advisory was issued on Monday at 5 pm and by Tuesday morning at 5 am it was upgraded to a Category one system. NHC began recording this type of data about 40 years ago and in all that time no system had grown this fast. The closest before was 18 hours with Hurricane Humberto in 2007.
I said it appears Paula managed this feat, that's because by the time the first advisory was issued, NHC had classified it as a tropical storm by-passing depression status all together. Maybe at the end of the hurricane season when NHC looks back at the data, they may include this extra time period and bump it from the top spot. If this happens, it will tie Humberto for fastest intensification.
The big question is where is it headed. Models all agree that a cold front will move into the Gulf over the next few days and push Paula East. Plenty of shear ahead of the front may weaken it as it moves towards Western Cuba.
Five days out models disagree as to what will happen, with some dipping Paula back South into the Western Caribbean, others push it across Cuba, while others take it to the Florida straits. Strength is also an issue. Models hint at a weaker system in 5 days, but it if sits over water for too long, it just may hold on to hurricane status.