Tomas significantly weaker; damage very heavy on St. Lucia and neighboring islands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:38 PM GMT on October 31, 2010

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Hurricane Tomas dealt a punishing blow to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, with the neighboring islands of St. Vincent, Dominica, and Barbados also suffering heavy damage. St. Lucia received the full brunt of the northern eyewall of Tomas as it intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds early this morning. The St. Lucia weather service reported that sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph affected the island. A state of emergency has been declared on the island, and there are island-wide power outages on both St. Lucia and Dominica. Heavy flooding affected St. Lucia, washing out many bridges, and the airport is closed due to flooding. Damage to structures is considerable, with many roofs gone, and damage reported to hospitals, schools, and businesses.


Figure 1. Torrential rains from Tomas triggered massive flooding on St. Lucia that destroyed several bridges and severely damaged roads. Image credit: Caribbean Hurricane Network.

Tomas significantly weakens
An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft arrived at Tomas at 2pm this afternoon, and found a much weaker storm. The 2pm EDT center fix found that the pressure has risen to 994 mb, and the strongest surface winds were barely Category 1 hurricane strength, 74 mph. The aircraft found the the eyewall had mostly collapsed. Satellite loops of Tomas also show a significant degradation in the appearance of the storm in recent hours. The storm is highly asymmetric with very little heavy thunderstorm activity or upper level outflow on the west side, and the hurricane has only one prominent spiral band, on the east side. Wind shear is a high 20 knots due to strong upper level west-southwest winds, and these winds are driving dry air at mid-levels of the atmosphere into Tomas' west side, as seen on water vapor satellite imagery.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas taken at 10:30am EDT Saturday October 30, as the storm began lashing the Lesser Antilles. At the time, Tomas was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Track forecast for Tomas
The ridge of high pressure pushing Tomas to the west-northwest will weaken by Tuesday, as a trough of low pressure approaches the eastern U.S. and breaks down the ridge. This will result in Tomas slowing from its current 9 mph forward speed to 5 mph by Tuesday. By Thursday, the trough to Tomas' north should be able to pull the storm to the north. The exact timing and location of this turn is still very uncertain. The computer model solutions from the latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) runs include a strike on Haiti on Friday (GFS and GFDL models), a strike on the Dominican Republic on Friday (NOGAPS model), a strike on Haiti on Saturday (UKMET model), a strike on Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Thursday (Canadian), or a strike on Puerto Rico on Friday (HWRF).

Intensity forecast for Tomas
Wind shear is forecast to remain in the high range, 20 - 25 knots, through Monday night, then decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, for the remainder of the week. Tomas will struggle with the shear and the dry air to its west through Tuesday, and I expect it will weaken to a tropical storm tonight, and remain a tropical storm until Tuesday, when the shear finally relents. At that point, re-intensification is likely, though with the storm's inner core gone, I expect it will take Tomas two days before it can re-establish a complete eyewall. Hindering that process will be the slow motion of the storm, which will allow cooler waters from the depths upwell to the surface and cool the SSTs. Still, the waters are very warm in the Caribbean and these waters extend to great depth, so the upwelling cool water may not impede intensification as much as might ordinarily be expected. The intensity Tomas might have as landfall in Hispaniola or Jamaica is highly uncertain, and a strength anywhere between a tropical storm and Category 3 hurricane would not be surprising. The HWRF model predicts Tomas will be a borderline tropical storm/Category 1 hurricane on Friday, while the GFDL foresees Tomas will be a strengthening Category 3 hurricane as it bears down on Haiti Friday afternoon. I predict Tomas will have trouble reorganizing, and will be a strengthening Category 1 hurricane on Friday as it makes landfall in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.


Figure 3. Hurricane specialists Robbie Berg (background) and Dan Brown (foreground) discuss the latest data on Tomas Friday night at the National Hurricane Center.

Next update
I'll have an update Monday morning.

Jeff Masters

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639. aspectre
2:28 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
TropicalStormTomas's heading turned northward to (0.3degrees west of) WestSouthWest
from it's previous heading of (9.6degrees south of) dueWest
TS.Tomas's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions decreasedcreased to ~12mph(~19.3km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~13.7mph(~22km/h)
HurricaneTomas : Category2
31Oct 12pmGMT - 14.0n63.3w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 983mb - NHC.Adv.#9A
Cat.1
31Oct 03pmGMT - 14.0n63.7w - - 90mph_(~144.9km/h) - - 986mb - NHC.Adv.#10
31Oct 06pmGMT - 14.2n64.3w - - 70knots.(~129.6km/h) - - 992mb - ATCF
31Oct 09pmGMT - 14.4n64.9w - - 75mph_(~120.7km/h) - - 994mb - NHC.Adv.#11
TS.Tomas
1Nov. 12amGMT - 14.4n65.6w - - 55knots.(~101.9km/h) - - 997mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 14.2n66.5w - - 65mph_(~104.6km/h) - - 997mb - NHC.Adv.#12
1Nov. 06amGMT - 13.9n67.1w - - 45knots . (~84.3km/h) - 1003mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 13.8n67.7w - - 50mph__(~80.5km/h) - 1003mb - NHC.Adv.#13
1Nov. 09amGMT - 13.6n68.2w - - 40knots . (~74.1km/h) - 1005mb - ATCF

Copy&paste 14.0n63.3w, 14.0n63.7w, 14.2n64.3w, 14.4n64.9w, 14.4n65.6w-14.2n66.5w, 14.2n66.5w-13.9n67.1w, 13.9n67.1w-13.8n67.7w, 13.8n67.7w-13.6n68.2w, cya, aua, 13.6n68.2w-12.34n71.3w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and the distances traveled over the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~16hours from now to PuertoEstrella,Venezuela

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
638. Neapolitan
2:09 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
NEW BLOG
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13797
637. XLR8
2:09 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
New Blog
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636. hydrus
2:06 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:


Shear still 25-30mph over Tomas.
Good morning Tampa..What are your thoughts about this possible snow event late in the week....
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
635. TampaSpin
2:04 PM GMT on November 01, 2010


Shear still 25-30mph over Tomas.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
634. hydrus
2:03 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Sure hope not because if I am reading it right it goes directly over Haiti.
And Tomas picks up energy from another low before striking Haiti...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
633. kimoskee
1:48 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Back later. Have a good one!
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
632. kimoskee
1:46 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting ackee:
DO u think met office will tropical storm watch ?


They've started issuing advisories on Tomas. Go to their website, on the home page on the left side below NEWS are the bulletins.

http://www.metservice.gov.jm/index.asp

ODPEM also has a website

http://www.odpem.org.jm/
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631. JRRP
1:45 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
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630. Dakster
1:44 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Anyone else think that Tomas may miss that Trof that pulls him North? Could this be another CA storm afterall? (Hopefully not another Wilma type setup)
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629. JRRP
1:39 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
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628. stormwatcherCI
1:39 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
I hope this does not pan out..NAM..Link
Sure hope not because if I am reading it right it goes directly over Haiti.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
627. hydrus
1:37 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting kimoskee:
Emergency relief agencies in Jamaica have been summoned to a meeting this morning at the Office of the Prime Minister regarding Tomas. Report on the radio.

I think this is an indication that Jamaica is taking Tomas seriously.

I would bet that Jamaica is still wet. Another rain event would be calamitous to say the least..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
626. ackee
1:36 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting kimoskee:
Emergency relief agencies in Jamaica have been summoned to a meeting this morning at the Office of the Prime Minister regarding Tomas. Report on the radio.

I think this is an indication that Jamaica is taking Tomas seriously.

DO u think met office will tropical storm watch ?
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1376
625. kimoskee
1:35 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Emergency relief agencies in Jamaica have been summoned to a meeting this morning at the Office of the Prime Minister regarding Tomas. Report on the radio.

I think this is an indication that Jamaica is taking Tomas seriously.

Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
624. hydrus
1:33 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:



Navy now has it at 13.6N and 68.2W and 40Kts
I hope this does not pan out..NAM..Link
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623. ackee
1:28 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
just seem like the model are trending slowly more toward jamaica hope there wrong guess we see
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622. Orcasystems
1:27 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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621. jiminceiba
1:23 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
interesting site...
Link
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620. lickitysplit
1:23 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Hope to see tomas torn to shreads and gone before it gets to Haiti.
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619. hydrus
1:04 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting IKE:


Kills off the bugs and spiders. About time to burn leaves again soon.
The GEM model has a huge dip in the jet, looks like a hairpin. And there is a low that pinches off near the coast of California. It could be a big factor in our weather down the road.Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22604
618. Dakster
1:03 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
I think that this is good and bad with Tomas. Good if he just goes 'poof'. Bad that he is going South, now more of a chance he could miss the trough. Then if he regenerates, could be bad for CAYMAN ISLANDS and Cuba and even possibly the u.s.a.
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617. stormwatcherCI
12:58 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
I think the weakening phase of Tomas is over for now, though the COC lacks convection, it has a vigorous, potent and well defined LLC. I would also think the further south it goes, the more west Tomas will go before making that "turn" I suspect to see a shift in the models and track over the next 12 -24 hours, JMO.
I am having visions of Paloma. Tomas reaching the sw Caribbean and beginning his NE turn while intensifying. What do you think ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
616. stormpetrol
12:56 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
I think the weakening phase of Tomas is over for now, though the COC lacks convection, it has a vigorous, potent and well defined LLC. I would also think the further south it goes, the more west Tomas will go before making that "turn" I suspect to see a shift in the models and track over the next 12 -24 hours, JMO.
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614. stormwatcherCI
12:50 PM GMT on November 01, 2010



Navy now has it at 13.6N and 68.2W and 40Kts
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613. jambev
12:41 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
The WV loop shows that the convection now behind Tomas is diving down towards south america. The convection firing up is north of the coc which is still naked.
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612. CaicosRetiredSailor
12:36 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
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611. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:36 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
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610. stormwatcherCI
12:34 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
slowly but surely the convection is catching up with the llc of tomas, he is not about to go peacefully into the night.
Each frame has a little more convection at the coc. May not get a whole lot weaker and start to reorganize quicker than thought.
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609. 7544
12:34 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
now tomas looks to be going due south if he kkeps this up and resumes west again could this change his track further south and wst thru the carb tia ?
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608. poknsnok
12:33 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Tomas got the heck sheared out of it... wow

from near cat 3 to poof in no time
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607. jambev
12:27 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Looking at the WV loop, Tomas has moved into an area where the shear is lighter. However, directly ahead, the shear at this time is quite strong
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606. stormwatcherCI
12:27 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting FSUCOOPman:


I thought the CLP was a model... It's a model of climatologically where a storm in that location would go.

???
You may be right but not used for where it is predicted to go with a current storm and current conditions just where storms at this time of year have previously gone.
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605. 7544
12:22 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
looks like we could see 93l soon but will it also follow tomas path ?
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604. wunderkidcayman
12:22 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
you are right FSUCOOPman stormwatcher maybe did not know that but yes you are correct the is only one of that what stormwatcher is talking about which is the XTRP
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603. stormpetrol
12:20 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
slowly but surely the convection is catching up with the llc of tomas, he is not about to go peacefully into the night.
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602. wunderkidcayman
12:19 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
oh look Convection is starting fire near the COC
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601. FSUCOOPman
12:16 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
The CLP5 is not a model. It is like the xtrap so where ever Tomas goes of course he will follow it.


I thought the CLP was a model... It's a model of climatologically where a storm in that location would go.

???
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600. IKE
12:15 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
I'm looking forward to that Ike! Sounds good!


Kills off the bugs and spiders. About time to burn leaves again soon.
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599. PensacolaDoug
12:11 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
I'm looking forward to that Ike! Sounds good!
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598. IKE
12:10 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
Blue norther...Florida panhandle....Crestview,FL...


Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. North wind around 10 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 64. North wind between 10 and 15 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 35.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 64.

Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 35.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 68.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
596. PensacolaDoug
12:02 PM GMT on November 01, 2010
JB this morn.

MONDAY 7 AM

GFS IN LA LA LAND. PHASING ON EAST COAST MEANS EARLY SEASON SNOWS WEST AND CENTRAL APPALACHIANS..TOMAS TO STAY SEPARATE. NEW TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT POSSIBLE NEXT 3 DAYS IN ATLANTIC BASIN.. WOULD MAKE 20.

The european, Canadian and JMA continue to insist on enough play between the northern and southern branch for a major development on the east coast Thursday that would mean accumulating snow up and down the Appalachians from Tennessee to New York State, a heavy rainstorm on the coast and a shot of cold that will end the growing season into the deep south later this week. The GFS has been behind since last week ( I think you can agree it has lost the duel at Pittsburgh for the 6-10 day period starting tomorrow, where I took the NOAA idea of normal in the Ohio valley to task, though in reality I was hammering the model which they bought... see previous videos on this) The Canadian is the most wound up, and looks overdone, though its ensembles are in line the GFS looks out to lunch, though to be fair many of the areas where I think snow will accumulate will see it, but from flurries. The Euro looks just right.

Tomas has weakened and without us having a strong tropical presence, the chance of it phasing to be pulled in is diminished. It should come back and become a hurricane again though but after hitting Jamaica later this week take off northeas through the Bahamas. However the season may not yet be over as far as naming with the new ITCZ disturbance at 10 north and 48 west likely to be "hatched" today as it moves west.

This front, no matter which model is right, will send a norther of major proportions into the gulf.

In the meantime, on the west coast, the non summer this year may be made up for again as a couple of 90 plus days can occur at LAX with a spike of heat. Again look at forecasts from last week for this area, with the modeling rushing the trough to the coast ( US models) and missing how hot it may get completely.

And in a year without summer, heat in the fall is a big deal out there

ciao for now ****
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595. stormwatcherCI
11:59 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
guys I say that Tomas will follow a path between the CLP5 and the BAMM model
The CLP5 is not a model. It is like the xtrap so where ever Tomas goes of course he will follow it.
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594. wunderkidcayman
11:57 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
guys I say that Tomas will follow a path between the CLP5 and the BAMM model
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593. largeeyes
11:54 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
I sorta expected a higher wind...

Bonaire, B1 (Airport)
Updated: 54 min 12 sec ago
82 °F
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 79%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 6 mph from the WNW
Pressure: 29.83 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 90 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Few 1700 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 23 ft

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592. stormwatcherCI
11:49 AM GMT on November 01, 2010


Tiny bit of convection beginning to flare up in the northern part of the coc. This was not here earlier.
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591. GeoffreyWPB
11:41 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT MON NOV 1 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM TOMAS...LOCATED ABOUT 135 MILES NORTHEAST OF CURACAO.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
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590. scott39
11:39 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
Keeping awareness up on Tomas is the responsible thing for the NHC to do. Even with him looking pathetic and in desperate need of convection around the COC!
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589. stormwatcherCI
11:39 AM GMT on November 01, 2010
Quoting juniort:

I'm here in Barbados cant take another beating!
Hopefully it won't develop but looks like more rain on the way for you.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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