Paul formed as a tropical storm over the eastern Pacific Ocean on October 13, 2012. By October 15, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAís Terra satellite captured this true-color image, Paul was a hurricane bearing down on Baja California. At that time, Paul sported a large, partially cloud filled eye and the distinct apostrophe-shape of a strong storm.
At roughly the same time that MODIS captured this image, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Paul had maximum sustained winds of 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour. At 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on October 16, Paulís wind speeds were the same, and the center of the storm was located about 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of Cabo San Lazaro. The NHC reported that Paul was moving northwards at about 18 miles (28 kilometers) per hour, and was expected to make landfall within a few hours. The NHC warned of strong winds, heavy rains, and a dangerous storm surge for parts of Baja.
The next day, on October 17, Hurricane Paul made landfall along Baja California and tracked north along the coast. As it moved north, the storm continued to weaken. By October 18, the remnants of Paul became absorbed into a larger-scale weak trough of low pressure located north of 20 degrees North latitude and between 115 and 130 West longitude. The short-lived storm brought wind and rain to Baja California, but little damage.