A weakened Tomas still a grave danger to Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:38 PM GMT on November 03, 2010

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As this record-breaking third busiest Atlantic hurricane season in history unfolded, I marveled that earthquake-ravaged Haiti managed to dodge significant rain-making tropical storms throughout the peak months of August, September, and October. Cruel fate will not allow Haiti to escape the entire season unscathed, though, as a late-season November storm already proven to be a killer--Tomas--takes aim at Haiti. Tomas has struggled mightily over the past few days, and is now a tropical depression. However, even if it does not reach hurricane strength, Tomas is still likely to bring heavy rains capable of causing disastrous flooding in defenseless Haiti. It doesn't take much rain to cause a flooding disaster in Haiti--ordinary seasonal heavy rains have killed 23 people in southern Haiti over the past month, including twelve people in Port-au-Prince this past weekend. According to the Associated Press, most of last weekend's deaths occurred when surging rivers burst through houses built in ravines. With the soils already saturated from last weekend's rains, the stage is set in Haiti for a significant flooding disaster capable of causing heavy loss of life. I believe it is 30% likely that Tomas will stay far enough west of the Haiti earthquake zone so that rains will be limited to 1 - 4 inches to the region, causing only modest flooding problems and little or no loss of life. More likely (40% chance) is the possibility of major flooding due to 4 - 8 inches of rains. Finally, I expect a 30% chance that heavier rains of 5 - 20 inches over Haiti will cause catastrophic flooding like experienced in 2008's four hurricanes. Potential flooding disasters are not possible just in the earthquake zone, but also in northern Haiti and the southwestern peninsula of Haiti. So, keep praying for the people of Haiti, they need all the help they can get.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tomas.

Tomas struggling
Satellite loops of Tomas show a very disorganized tropical depression, with clumps of heavy thunderstorms scattered about the center in a vaguely cyclonic fashion. However, the thunderstorms are increasing in intensity and areal coverage this morning, and upper-level outflow is now well-established to the north. Given the highly favorable environment for intensification Tomas is in, the current satellite presentation suggests that Tomas is at the beginning of a period of steady intensification that will take it back to tropical storm strength by tonight, and to Category 1 hurricane strength by Friday. A hurricane hunter aircraft will have a better estimate of Tomas' strength by early this afternoon.

Track forecast for Tomas
The ridge of high pressure pushing Tomas to the west has weakened, allowing Tomas to slow down to a forward speed of 4 mph this morning. A trough of low pressure approaching the eastern U.S. has now begun to pull Tomas more to the west-northwest, and a sharper northward turn will develop today, and become a north-northeast motion by Friday. This motion should take Tomas just east of Jamaica and over western Haiti on Friday. NHC is giving Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a 46% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds, and a 5% chance of hurricane force winds. These odds are 45% and 4%, respectively for Kingston, Jamaica, and 19% and 2% for Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Heavy rains from Tomas will begin affecting Jamaica and southwestern Haiti beginning on Thursday afternoon, and will spread to eastern Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the rest of Haiti by Friday morning. Tomas will probably not be as bad for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Nicole in September, which killed 14 and did $245 million in damage. Nicole's rains lasted three days in Jamaica, and Tomas' rains should last at most 1 1/2 days on the island.

While all of the computer models agree on the motion of Tomas through Friday, there continue to be major differences in forecasts for what happens beginning on Saturday. The trough of low pressure pulling Tomas to the north is expected to lift out, leaving Tomas behind in an area of weak steering currents. The official NHC forecast follows the GFS and ECMWF models, which have been very consistent and reliable predicting the track of Tomas. These models forecast that Tomas will stall several hundred miles north of Haiti, then move slowly eastward. However, the GFDL model stalls Tomas just west of Port-au-Prince Haiti, predicting a days-long period of heavy rains for Haiti. The UKMET and NOGAPS model solutions are also unpleasant for Haiti; these models predict that Tomas will stall over the Turks and Caicos Islands, then drift south over eastern Cuba and western Haiti. The farther north Tomas gets, the higher wind shear will be, and the weaker the storm will get. However, if Tomas stays near the latitude of Hispaniola, wind shear will be low to moderate, and the storm will be able to maintain its strength if the center stays over water. Given recent model trends, I believe a multi-day period of heavy rains that could total twenty inches for eastern Cuba, Haiti, and the western Dominican Republic is at least 30% likely.

Intensity forecast for Tomas
Tomas' struggles to intensify over the past day are difficult to explain scientifically, as all the data we have suggests the storm should have strengthened. Our ability to forecast intensification is limited by the poor availability of data over the oceans, though, and there must be a layer of wind shear or dry air our sensors cannot pick out that is interfering with development. In the absence of any concrete evidence on what is causing Tomas' current troubles, I must continue to forecast intensification over the coming two days. Wind shear as diagnosed by the SHIPS model has dropped to the low range, 5 - 10, and is predicted to stay in the low range for the next three days. The atmosphere is very moist in the Caribbean, as seen on water vapor satellite imagery, and the models predict a very moist atmosphere will surround Tomas for the remainder of the week. With SSTs at a record warm 29.5°C and a very high ocean heat content, there is a substantial danger that Tomas will undergo a period of rapid intensification if has time to build an eyewall. Crucially, the storm has waited too long to begin this process, and it now appears unlikely that Tomas will have time to grow beyond Category 1 hurricane strength before landfall in Haiti on Friday. NHC is giving Tomas a 5% chance of reaching Category 3+ strength, which is a reasonable forecast. With the atmosphere expected to be very moist, it is likely that Tomas will dump very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches over much of Haiti, even if Tomas strikes as a tropical storm. Rains of this magnitude are capable of causing heavy loss of life due to extreme floods running down Haiti's deforested mountain slopes. Portlight.org is preparing to send their mobile kitchen with enough food to feed 500 people per day, if the threat from Tomas materializes as forecast.

Haiti's hurricane history
In many ways, the hurricane season of 2008 was the cruelest ever experienced in Haiti. Four storms--Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike--dumped heavy rains on the impoverished nation. The rugged hillsides, stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover thanks to deforestation, let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country. Particularly hard-hit was Gonaives, the fourth largest city. According to reliefweb.org, Haiti suffered 793 killed, with 310 missing and another 593 injured. The hurricanes destroyed 22,702 homes and damaged another 84,625. About 800,000 people were affected--8% of Haiti's total population. The flood wiped out 70% of Haiti's crops, resulting in dozens of deaths of children due to malnutrition in the months following the storms. Damage was estimated at over $1 billion, the costliest natural disaster in Haitian history, prior to the 2010 earthquake. The damage amounted to over 5% of the country's $17 billion GDP, a staggering blow for a nation so poor.


Figure 2. The flooded city of Gonaives after Hurricane Hanna, September 3, 2008. Image credit: Lambi Fund of Haiti.

Two thousand and eight was only one of many years hurricane have brought untold misery to Haiti. Hurricane Jeanne of 2004 passed just north of the country as a tropical storm, dumping 13 inches of rains on the nation's northern mountains. The resulting floods killed over 3000 people, mostly in the town of Gonaives. Jeanne ranks as the 12th deadliest hurricane of all time on the list of the 30 most deadly Atlantic hurricanes . Unfortunately for Haiti, its name appears several times on this list. Hurricane Flora killed over 8000 people in 1963, making it the 6th most deadly hurricane ever. An unnamed 1935 storm killed over 2000, and Hurricane Hazel killed over 1000 in 1954. More recently, Hurricane Gordon killed over 1000 Haitians in 1994, and in 1998, Hurricane Georges killed over 400 while destroying 80% of all the crops in the country.

Surprisingly, only six major Category 3 and stronger hurricanes have struck Haiti since 1851. The strongest hurricane to hit Haiti was Hurricane Cleo of 1964, which struck the southwestern peninsula as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, killing 192 people. Haiti's only other Category 4 storm was Hurricane Flora of 1963, which had 145 mph winds when it struck the southwestern peninsula, killing 8000. No Category 5 hurricanes have hit Haiti since 1851. The most recent Category 3 hurricane to hit Haiti was Hurricane David of 1979, which crossed northern Haiti as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds after hitting the Dominican Republic as a Category 5 hurricane with 170 mph winds. David weakened quickly to a tropical storm after crossing into Haiti, as caused no deaths in the country. The other major hurricanes to strike Haiti were Hurricane Inez of 1966, which hit southern Haiti as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds, killing 480 people; Hurricane Katie of 1955, which hit near the Haiti/Dominican Republic border with 115 mph winds, killing 7; and Hurricane Five of 1873, which hit the southwestern peninsula with 115 mph winds.


Figure 3.Two of 2008's four tropical cyclones that ravaged Haiti: Tropical Storm Hanna (right) and Hurricane Gustav (left). Image taken at 10:40 am EDT September 1, 2008. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Why does Haiti suffer a seemingly disproportionate number of flooding disasters? The answer in that in large part, these are not natural disasters--they are human-caused disasters. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. With oil too expensive for the impoverished nation, charcoal from burnt trees has provided 85% or more of the energy in Haiti for decades. As a result, Haiti's 8 million poor have relentlessly hunted and chopped down huge amounts of forest, leaving denuded mountain slopes that rainwater washes down unimpeded. Back in 1980, Haiti still had 25% of its forests, allowing the nation to withstand heavy rain events like 1979's Category 3 Hurricane David without loss of life. But as of 2004, only 1.4% of Haiti's forests remained. Jeanne and Gordon were not even hurricanes--merely strong tropical storms--when they stuck Haiti, but the almost total lack of tree cover contributed to the devastating floods that killed thousands. And it doesn't even take a tropical storm to devastate Haiti--in May of 2004, three days of heavy rains from a tropical disturbance dumped more than 18 inches of rain in the mountains, triggering floods that killed over 2600 people.

What can be done to reduce these human-worsened natural disasters? Education and poverty eradication are critical to improving things. In addition, reforestation efforts and promotion of alternative fuels are needed.

In the past two decades, the U.S. Agency for International Development has planted some 60 million trees, while an estimated 10 to 20 million of these are cut down each year, according to the USAID director in Haiti, David Adams. If you're looking for a promising way to make a charitable donation to help Haitian flood victims, considering supporting the Lambi Fund of Haiti, which is very active in promoting reforestation efforts, use of alternative fuels, and infrastructure improvements at a grass-roots level to help avert future flood disasters.

Organizations Active in Haitian Relief Efforts:
Portlight disaster relief
Lambi Fund of Haiti
Haiti Hope Fund
Catholic Relief Services of Haiti

Next update
I'll have an update later today if there is a significant change with Tomas to report. Otherwise, expect the next update Thursday morning.

Note that the section on Haiti's hurricane history is now a permanent link in the "Articles of interest" section on our Tropical & Hurricane web page.

Jeff Masters

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994. Bordonaro
2:45 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
Miss Piggy is now leaving Tomas

Tomas just needs to take Ms Piggy and go somewhere, anywhere but Haiti!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
993. weatherwatcher12
2:32 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Miss Piggy is now leaving Tomas
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
991. CBJeff
2:15 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting nola70119:
Hopefully Tomas moves furher a little further left, right now I think that Port au Prince where all the camps are, will be OK.


Haiti wasn't "OK" before the earthquake. A clean-side pass from Jeanne (at that point a TD) in 2004 killed thousands.
Member Since: October 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 36
990. stormpetrol
2:15 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Product: NOAA Temp Drop (Dropsonde) Message (UZNT13 KWBC)
Transmitted: 4th day of the month at 14:05Z
Aircraft: Lockheed WP-3D Orion (Reg. Num. N43RF)
Storm Number: 21
Storm Name: Tomas (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 15
Observation Number: 12

Part A...

Date: Near the closest hour of 14Z on the 4th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 700mb
Coordinates: 16.1N 76.1W
Location: 139 miles (223 km) to the SSE (161°) from Kingston, Jamaica.
Marsden Square: 044 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
997mb (29.44 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 26.2°C (79.2°F) 26.0°C (78.8°F) 85° (from the E) 43 knots (49 mph)
1000mb -23m (-75 ft) Other data not available.
925mb 664m (2,178 ft) 22.8°C (73.0°F) 22.6°C (72.7°F) 125° (from the SE) 49 knots (56 mph)
850mb 1,401m (4,596 ft) 20.2°C (68.4°F) 20.1°C (68.2°F) 140° (from the SE) 34 knots (39 mph)
700mb 3,063m (10,049 ft) 13.4°C (56.1°F) 13.4°C (56.1°F) 110° (from the ESE) 25 knots (29 mph)

Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 13:49Z
- About Sonde: A descending radiosonde tracked automatically by satellite navigation with no solar or infrared correction.

Additional Data
- Temperature data is doubtful between the following levels: 700mb - 710mb

Remarks Section...

Release Location: 16.09N 76.08W
Release Time: 13:49:38Z

Splash Location: 16.12N 76.12W
Splash Time: 13:54:41Z

Mean Boundary Level Wind (mean wind in the lowest 500 geopotential meters of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 105° (from the ESE)
- Wind Speed: 51 knots (59 mph)

Deep Layer Mean Wind (average wind over the depth of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 125° (from the SE)
- Wind Speed: 35 knots (40 mph)
- Depth of Sounding: From 696mb to 997mb

Average Wind Over Lowest Available 150 geopotential meters (gpm) of the sounding:
- Lowest 150m: 160 gpm - 10 gpm (525 geo. feet - 33 geo. feet)
- Wind Direction: 85° (from the E)
- Wind Speed: 54 knots (62 mph)

Part B: Data For Significant Levels...

Significant Temperature And Relative Humidity Levels...
Level Air Temperature Dew Point
997mb (Surface) 26.2°C (79.2°F) 26.0°C (78.8°F)
989mb 25.4°C (77.7°F) 25.1°C (77.2°F)
919mb 22.4°C (72.3°F) 22.3°C (72.1°F)
710mb 13.6°C (56.5°F) 12.1°C (53.8°F)
696mb 13.2°C (55.8°F) 12.2°C (54.0°F)

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
997mb (Surface) 85° (from the E) 43 knots (49 mph)
995mb 85° (from the E) 50 knots (58 mph)
985mb 85° (from the E) 58 knots (67 mph)
976mb 105° (from the ESE) 58 knots (67 mph)
943mb 125° (from the SE) 53 knots (61 mph)
814mb 155° (from the SSE) 29 knots (33 mph)
807mb 145° (from the SE) 24 knots (28 mph)
700mb 110° (from the ESE) 26 knots (30 mph)
697mb 125° (from the SE) 13 knots (15 mph)
696mb 110° (from the ESE) 23 knots (26 mph)
The highest wind observed in the "Significant Wind Levels" section is noted in bold.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8023
989. hydrus
2:15 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:

I tried it but message says it cannot open the webpage
Try this one more time. If not, go to the opening page of Dr.M,s blog and look at the NCEP on the model list. Its worth a look for sure..Link
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988. Neapolitan
2:13 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
NEW BLOG TOPIC
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987. Orcasystems
2:13 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
997mb (29.44 inHg) Sea Level (Surface)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
986. tatoprweather
2:12 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting MahFL:


I don't think they can ever be described as OK, to be honest.....


Totally agree. Haitians are far away from being OK.
Member Since: April 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 136
985. stormpetrol
2:09 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Time: 13:01:00Z
Coordinates: 16.0N 76.05W
Acft. Static Air Press: 694.6 mb (~ 20.51 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,143 meters (~ 10,312 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 994.8 mb (~ 29.38 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 47° at 16 knots (From the NE at ~ 18.4 mph)
Air Temp: 14.5°C (~ 58.1°F)
Dew Pt: 3.5°C (~ 38.3°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 20 knots (~ 23.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate: -
(*) Denotes suspect data

I suspect this might be the center
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984. jambev
2:09 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Two days ago, I mentioned that a best case scenario would be for the storm to pass between Jamaica and Haiti and then curve to pass between Haiti and the eastern tip of Cuba.
The T & C Islands will be affected but otherwise thats eems to be the course.

The NHC predicted in it'd first discussion on Friday last that the storm would arrive at 16N and 76 W in 120 hours. Whilst a few hours late that is where it is now but thank goodness considerably weaker.
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
983. divdog
2:08 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


Their actually is a slight risk today according all the Orlando mets this morning from 1pm to 6pm. I know you like starting trouble but this is correct.
no severe weather forecast in Florida today. That does not include "tv" mets.
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982. Bordonaro
2:07 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
981. weatherwatcher12
2:07 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Wind shift seems to confirm a NNW motion.
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980. stormpetrol
2:06 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
Look at this. Talk about a nasty storm...NCEP...Link

I tried it but message says it cannot open the webpage
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8023
979. MahFL
2:04 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting nola70119:
Hopefully Tomas moves furher a little further left, right now I think that Port au Prince where all the camps are, will be OK.


I don't think they can ever be described as OK, to be honest.....
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
978. nola70119
2:01 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Hopefully Tomas moves furher a little further left, right now I think that Port au Prince where all the camps are, will be OK.
Member Since: June 16, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1565
977. hydrus
1:59 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

Look at this radar link out of Jamaica and watch the COC become better defined,moving NW towards Kingston IMO.
Look at this. Talk about a nasty storm...NCEP...Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21762
976. stormpetrol
1:52 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Link

Look at this radar link out of Jamaica and watch the COC become better defined,moving NW towards Kingston IMO.
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975. weatherwatcher12
1:47 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Hurricane Hunters making a 180 back to where they did a 360 around the COC.
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
974. SouthDadeNative
1:45 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Now the question is do I dump the hurricane gas reserve for my generator into the car or wait another 24 days? That reminds me I'd better cut some wood for the fireplace. The upper 40's can be cold in South Dade.
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973. GeoffreyWPB
1:43 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Some record lows possible for portions of south Fla. Sunday morning.
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972. Chicklit
1:42 PM GMT on November 04, 2010

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.9N 76.0W
ABOUT 305 MI...490 KM SW OF PORT AU PRINCE HAITI
ABOUT 150 MI...240 KM SSE OF KINGSTON JAMAICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...10 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.


SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* HAITI
* THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS...AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* JAMAICA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE SOUTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM THE HAITI
BORDER EASTWARD TO BARAHONA
* THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF GUANTANAMO...SANTIAGO DE CUBA...AND HOLGUIN

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 TO 36
HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-
FORCE WINDS. THESE CONDITIONS MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT
OR DANGEROUS AND PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD
BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24
TO 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...IN THIS CASE WITHIN 24 TO 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM TOMAS WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 76.0 WEST. TOMAS IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST NEAR 6 MPH...10 KM/HR. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST WITH SOME INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK THE CENTER WILL PASS NEAR HAITI OR EXTREME EASTERN CUBA TONIGHT AND EARLY FRIDAY AND NEAR OR OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS ON FRIDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115 MILES...185 KM FROM THE CENTER.

AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE JUST REPORTED A MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 998 MB...29.47 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
STORM SURGE...A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 1 TO 3 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IN THE WARNING AREA IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WINDS. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO FIRST REACH THE COAST WITHIN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA LATER TODAY..MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA BY LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY FRIDAY.

RAINFALL...TOMAS IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10 INCHES OVER MUCH OF HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES. TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER JAMAICA. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. RAINFALL TOTALS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN




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971. CyclonicVoyage
1:41 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
970. Orcasystems
1:36 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting SouthDadeNative:
The old mad is on the way. Possible upper 40's in south dade and snow at my home in the NC mountains.


Hmm snow for Florida again would be nice :)
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969. Orcasystems
1:35 PM GMT on November 04, 2010



Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
968. SouthDadeNative
1:35 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
The old mad is on the way. Possible upper 40's in south dade and snow at my home in the NC mountains.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 35
967. weathermanwannabe
1:33 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
965. CBJeff 9:28 AM EDT on November 04, 2010

Arguably, any "break-up" of the circulation due to interaction with mountains in Haiti would only serve to slow down the system and cause more rainfall, and, lethal mudslides down those same mountains.
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966. CyclonicVoyage
1:32 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting CBJeff:
The southern "claw" of Haiti may not look like much on a map, but there are some serious (5,000') storm-shredding mountains there, and I was hoping they would provide some level of protection to the Haitians. But it looks lke Tomas is going to thread the needle through the Windward Passage and give them a nasty dirty-side raking. We may be in store for a pointed reminder that it's water, not wind, that delivers a storm's lethal punch.



Was looking at that yesterday. Seems water will pile up in the Bay pretty good. Not sure if they have a surge model for Haiti?
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965. CBJeff
1:28 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
The southern "claw" of Haiti may not look like much on a map, but there are some serious (5,000') storm-shredding mountains there, and I was hoping they would provide some level of protection to the Haitians. But it looks lke Tomas is going to thread the needle through the Windward Passage and give them a nasty dirty-side raking. We may be in store for a pointed reminder that it's water, not wind, that delivers a storm's lethal punch.
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964. Chicklit
1:28 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Hi Dewey, yes...rain in ECFL at last!
Regardless of track, Tomas is going to bring flooding rain and mudslides and if it intensifies (it's in 30 degree water), then wind too.


WVLoop

CB the latest NHC track is to the left and through the Windward Passage.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11390
963. CyclonicVoyage
1:26 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting FLdewey:
AGUA!!!!





Finally get to give the sprinklers a rest!


I wish it were going to be more for the SE.

SPC AC 041248

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0748 AM CDT THU NOV 04 2010

VALID 041300Z - 051200Z

...NO SVR TSTM AREAS FORECAST...
LOW-LEVEL FLOW AND CONVERGENCE WILL BE
RELATIVELY WEAK ACROSS FL TODAY AS THE PRIMARY LOW-LEVEL MASS INFLUX
IS FOCUSED FARTHER NE OFF THE SE ATLANTIC COAST IN ASSOCIATION WITH
CYCLOGENESIS. THIS WILL LEAVE AN ENVIRONMENT CHARACTERIZED BY
STRONG DEEP-LAYER SHEAR BUT WEAK LOW-LEVEL FLOW/SHEAR. CAPE WILL
ALSO BE LIMITED SOMEWHAT BY POOR MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES AND WIDESPREAD
CLOUDS THE FIRST HALF OF THE DAY. THE NET RESULT WILL BE A WEAKLY
CAPPED ENVIRONMENT SUPPORTIVE OF SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS TODAY IN
THE WARM CONVEYOR BELT...AND A WEAKENING CLUSTER OF STORMS WITH THE
REMNANT MIDLEVEL TROUGH LATE THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS CENTRAL/N FL.
THE ENVIRONMENT WILL NOT BE PARTICULARLY FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE
STORMS...OTHER THAN MARGINALLY GUSTS.

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
962. CyclonicVoyage
1:22 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting ILwthrfan:


So is this a temp jog because of this or is beginning to feel flow push him more to the NNE?


Could be temporary as storms tend to wobble more when they are getting stronger. One would almost think that Thomas is moving NW but, that is just the convection expanding westward over the center.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
961. Chicklit
1:22 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
agree WMWB, dire straits is the word that comes to mind. Guess Lambda Fund long-term solutions are best because in these short-case situations we are very much at a disadvantage.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11390
959. weathermanwannabe
1:19 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Hispanola is in a no win situation right now...Movement towards the Island to the east and a larger swatch of heavy rain over the entire Island......Any movement towards the passage or Cuba, and western Haiti would get the full brunt of the NE quadrant if the storm is able to reach hurricane status.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9330
958. Chicklit
1:18 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
good morning, glad to hear our ships are headed toward Haiti to assist with storm survival. still it will be a very difficult task to reach people and contain waterborne disease.

REGARDLESS OF THE EXACT TRACK AND INTENSITY OF TOMAS...THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THREAT FROM THIS TROPICAL CYCLONE IS HEAVY RAINFALL...WHICH COULD PRODUCE FLASH FLOODING AND LIFE-THREATENING MUD SLIDES OVER HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 04/0900Z 15.8N 76.1W 45 KT
12HR VT 04/1800Z 17.0N 76.0W 55 KT
24HR VT 05/0600Z 18.8N 75.0W 65 KT
36HR VT 05/1800Z 21.0N 73.4W 65 KT
48HR VT 06/0600Z 23.5N 71.5W 55 KT
72HR VT 07/0600Z 26.0N 69.5W 45 KT
96HR VT 08/0600Z 28.0N 67.0W 35 KT
120HR VT 09/0600Z 28.0N 65.0W 25 KT

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/PASCH




Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11390
957. weatherwatcher12
1:18 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
next Vortex report will be interesting.. HH just did a 360 in the centre

Saw that too, looked interesting. Next vortex point looks like it will be just west of north.
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
956. Orcasystems
1:14 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
next Vortex report will be interesting.. HH just did a 360 in the centre
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
955. TampaTom
1:13 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Tomas getting ready to leapfrog Paula and Alex in ACE...

Alex - 6.78
Paula - 6.59
Tomas - 6.21

After Alex is Julia at 14.2... not likely to pass Julia...
Member Since: June 20, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 1054
954. stormpetrol
1:12 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
I think the cold front didn't dig quite as deep as expected, looks to have slowed some and broken off over western Cuba, JMO. I still see Tomas moving NW for abit!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8023
953. ILwthrfan
1:12 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Thomas is currently in the process of correcting the stacking issue. Center was almost exposed earlier this morning, now, not the case. Thomas is on an organizing trend and should be from here on out.


So is this a temp jog because of this or is beginning to feel flow push him more to the NNE?
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535
952. TampaTom
1:10 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
CrownWeather said models are predicting development in the Caribbean again by Tuesday. That area looks to have a decent spin to it so I wouldn't doubt that this might be the beginning stages of something trying to form.


Proto-Virgine? Dang....
Member Since: June 20, 2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 1054
951. Orcasystems
1:10 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TSPIN BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
949. stormwatcherCI
1:05 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting jiminceiba:


thanks stormwatcher
No problem. I am in Grand Cayman so this area would worry me as much as you. I think we need to keep a close eye on it.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8426
948. jiminceiba
1:04 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
CrownWeather said models are predicting development in the Caribbean again by Tuesday. That area looks to have a decent spin to it so I wouldn't doubt that this might be the beginning stages of something trying to form.


thanks stormwatcher
Member Since: September 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
947. CyclonicVoyage
1:03 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting ILwthrfan:


I wonder if tomas' convection is trying to wrap it's vortex center or its vortex is becoming more vertically stacked. That would be bad.


Thomas is currently in the process of correcting the stacking issue. Center was almost exposed earlier this morning, now, not the case. Thomas is on an organizing trend and should be from here on out.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
946. stormwatcherCI
1:01 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting jiminceiba:
i said it an hour ago..but nobody commented...is that thing next to nicaragua another hurricane forming?...i was looking at the local ir here in la ceiba...sure looks like it...
CrownWeather said models are predicting development in the Caribbean again by Tuesday. That area looks to have a decent spin to it so I wouldn't doubt that this might be the beginning stages of something trying to form.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8426
945. stillwaiting
1:01 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
less than. 10 inches of rain in coastal srq area over last 24hrs,im begining to think the 1-3inches promised since yesterday will noy happen,less than. 25 additional precip.imo,its going to be a long hard fire wx season here in fl.....oh yea looks like a new invest east of nicaragua,probably our next TC imo
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
944. ILwthrfan
1:01 PM GMT on November 04, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
Vortex Plots have Tomas starting the turn to the NNE






I wonder if tomas' convection is trying to wrap it's vortex center or is its vortex is becoming more vertically stacked? That would be bad.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1535

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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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