Rains abate in Haiti as Tomas weakens

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:24 PM GMT on November 05, 2010

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Data from this afternoon's flight by the Hurricane Hunters shows that Tomas may have weakened to a tropical storm, though NHC is maintaining it as a hurricane in their 5pm advisory. The 3:28pm center fix found that Tomas' pressure had risen to 992 mb, and the top surface winds seen by the SFMR instrument were 64 mph. Highest winds at 10,000 feet were 74 mph, supporting reducing Tomas' status from hurricane to tropical storm--though it is possible that the aircraft did not sample the strongest winds of Tomas. The Gran Piedra, Cuba radar shows fewer echoes than this morning, and satellite loops also reveal a weakened storm, with much less heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. The weakening was probably due to the fact the center of Tomas passed very close to the rugged terrain of Haiti's southwest peninsula, and the rough mountains disrupted the flow into the developing eyewall of the hurricane. Conditions remain favorable for intensification, though, with wind shear a moderate 10 - 20 knots, and SSTs a very warm 29.5°C.


Figure 1. Visible MODIS satellite image taken by NASA's Terra satellite at 11:30am EDT November 5, 2010. image credit: NASA.

Impact on Hispaniola and Cuba
A trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. is drawing Tomas northeastward at 12 mph, and this forward speed will gradually increase to 15 mph by early Saturday morning. Tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph extend out about 140 miles to the east, and Tomas is probably bringing tropical storm force winds to the tip of eastern Cuba and Haiti's northwest peninsula at present. Rainfall is the primary concern from Tomas, though, not wind. Satellite estimates (Figure 2) indicate that Tomas dumped up to 4 - 6 inches of rain as of 8am EDT on much of southen Haiti; an additional 1 - 3 inches has probably fallen since then. However, the band of heavy rain to the south of Haiti that appeared poised to give southern Haiti an additional 3 - 6 inches of rain today got disrupted when Tomas' center brushed the mountainous tip of southwest Haiti. Thus, it appears the worst of the rain is over for Haiti. An additional 1 - 2 inches is possible in isolated regions, judging from recent satellite data. Preliminary news reports I've heard from Port-au-Prince indicate that the earthquake zone weathered the storm with no major loss of life. Severe flooding was reported on Haiti's southwest peninsula, with AP video showing 4 feet of water flowing through the streets of Leogane, 20 miles west of Port-au-Prince. It remains to be seen how the rest of Haiti fared, as satellite estimates of rainfall are often low, and do not properly measure the heavier rains that can fall in mountainous regions. A band of heavy rain is over the Dominican Republic this afternoon, and total rainfall amounts approaching ten inches in the mountains regions will likely cause dangerous flooding and mudslides in that country this afternoon and this evening.


Figure 2. Satellite-estimated rain amounts for the 24-hour period ending at 8am EDT Friday, November 5, 2010. Rainfall amounts of 4 - 6 inches (green colors) occurred over Costa Rica, the southwestern peninsula of Haiti, and isolated regions of the Dominican Republic and the rest of Haiti. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Impact on the Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands
Although Tomas has been weakened by its close encounter with Haiti and now Cuba, the storm is in a favorable environment for re-intensification. I expect Tomas will re-intensify back to 85 mph winds by 2am EDT Saturday, as it passes through the Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands. Once Tomas pushes north of the islands on Sunday, the storm should weaken quickly, as wind shear is expected to rise to a very high 50 knots.

Tomas the second most damaging hurricane in St. Lucia history
Prime Minister Stephenson King announced yesterday that damage on the island of St.Lucia was $185 million--five times higher than earlier estimates. This sum is 19% of St. Lucia's GDP, and is the second most expensive hurricane ever for the island. Tomas damaged 10,000 homes and killed 14 people during its rampage over the island last Saturday. St. Lucia received the full brunt of the northern eyewall of Tomas as it intensified, and the St. Lucia weather service reported that sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph affected the island. Power has been restored to 90% of the island and most of the tourist facilities have reopened, however.

Tomas is the strongest hurricane to affect St. Lucia since Category 1 Hurricane Dean of 2007 brought 90 mph winds to the island. Dean killed one person and did $6.4 million in damage--0.5% of the nation's GDP. The island's strongest hurricane since accurate records began in 1851 was Hurricane Allen of 1980, which struck as a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mph winds. Allen killed 18 people on St.Lucia, and caused catastrophic damage of $235 million dollars ($613 million 2010 dollars.) This was 177% of the nation's GDP that year. The deadliest hurricane in St. Lucia history was the Category 5 Great Hurricane of 1780, which killed approximately 700 people. The Great Hurricane of 1780 was the Atlantic's deadliest hurricane of all-time, with 22,000 fatalities, mostly in the Lesser Antilles Islands.


Figure 3. Damage on St. Lucia from Hurricane Tomas. Image credit: St. Lucia Star.

Organizations Active in Haitian Relief Efforts:
Portlight disaster relief has shipped their mobile kitchen to Quisqueya, Haiti, and the kitchen will be ready to feed 500 people per day.
Lambi Fund of Haiti
Haiti Hope Fund
Catholic Relief Services of Haiti

Next update
I'll have an update Saturday morning.

My post 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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Complete Update


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TSPIN BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511

Tom part of the front, 11n 34w heading n already.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Crystal? Sounds like a new face out at the TWC. What's her last name?

Egger... very cool.....lol
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135. JLPR2
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Mmmmm....not ready to call what that blob will do out there, but I am leaning toward no development right now. That blob is being generated by upper divergence induced by the big open ocean upper trough. However looking at UW-CIMSS analysis, shear over that blob is 20 to 30 knots due to the same trough.


Not completely.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8506
Wow. Just found this online at our local met department's website. They didn't even update for today.... sad.

Public Forecast Southeast Bahamas
WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE BAHAMAS FOR TODAY AND TONIGHT,THURSDAY 04TH NOVEMBER 2010.

A HURRICANE WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS WHICH INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF: INAGUA,MAYAGUANA,LONG CAY,ACKLINS AND CROOKED ISLAND.

GENERAL SITUATION:RAIN BANDS ASSOCIATED WITH TROPICAL STORM TOMAS WILL BEGIN AFFECTING THE SOUTHEASTERN ISLANDS TODAY.MEANWHILE A PRE-FRONTAL TROUGH NEAR FLORIDA WILL CREATE SOME UNSETTLED WEATHER ACROSS THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS TODAY.

FOR THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS:

WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY AND WINDLY WITH FEW ISOLATED SHOWERS.CLOUDY TO OVERCAST TONIGHT WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS MAINLY ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

FOR THE BOATERS:SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS SHOULD REMAIN IN PORT.

WINDS: EAST TO SOUTHEAST AT 15-25 KNOTS.

SEAS RUNNING: 5-8 FEET OVER THE OCEAN.

HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY: 86°F 30°C LOW TEMPERATURE TONIGHT: 72°F 22°C.

SUNRISE: 7:19 AM SUNSET: 6:28 PM.

MOONSET: 5:10 PM MOONRISE: 6:40 AM FRI..

HIGH TIDE: 6:36AM & 6:54PM LOW TIDE: 1:01 PM.

EXTENDED FORECAST: A COLD FRONT NEAR NORTH FLORIDA WILL ENTER THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS ON FRIDAY AND MOVE SOUTHEASTWARDS BEFORE MERGING WITH TROPICAL STORM TOMAS NEAR THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS ON SATURDAY.

FORECAST FOR FRIDAY:

WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY AND BREEZY WITH FEW ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS...CLOUDY TO OVERCAST WITH WIDESPREAD RAIN AND SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

WINDS: WEST TO NORTHWEST AT 15-25 KNOTS IN THE NORTHWEST AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS AND NORTHWESTERLY AT 15-20 KNOTS BUT GUSTS UP TO TROPICAL STORM FORCE STRENGTH IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

SEAS RUNNING: 5 TO 8 FEET IN THE NORTHWEST AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS BUT 4-7 FEET WITH GUSTS UP TO 9 FEET IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

FORECAST FOR SATURDAY:

WEATHER: PARTLY TO MOSTLY SUNNY,WINDY AND COOL IN THE NORTHWEST AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS.PARTLY CLOUDY TO CLOUDY AND WINDY IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS WITH A FEW SCATTERED SHOWERS.

WINDS: NORTHERLY AT 20-25 KNOTS WITH HIGHER GUSTS TO GALE FORCE IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

SEAS RUNNING: 6 TO 9 FEET BUT UP TO 12 FEET IN THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS.

TROPICAL WEATHER:TROPICAL STORM TOMAS: 5 AM LOCATION...15.8 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 76.1 DEGREES WEST.MOVING NNW NEAR 7 MPH,MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS 50 MPH.

FORECASTER: IAN V. MCKENZIE.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21548
Quoting gordydunnot:
If this was earlier everyone would be p-ing their pants looking at 11n 34w.


Mmmmm....not ready to call what that blob will do out there, but I am leaning toward no development right now. That blob is being generated by upper divergence induced by the big open ocean upper trough. However looking at UW-CIMSS analysis, shear over that blob is 20 to 30 knots due to the same trough.
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News release for Jamaica just issued:
Friday, November 05, 2010 – 6:00 p.m.

***COLD FRONT TO AFFECT WEATHER THIS WEEKEND ***

*** CENTRE OF TOMAS APPROACHING GREAT INAGUA IN THE BAHAMAS ***

In the wake of Tropical Storm Tomas, a Cold Front currently over central Cuba is expected to affect weather conditions across the island this weekend.

The forecast is for this Front to affect western parishes at first and drift eastward. Windy conditions with scattered showers and occasional thunderstorms are expected over mainly northern parishes tomorrow, Sunday and Monday along with temperatures falling 3 to 4 degrees below normal, due to the presence of this weather system.

Fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise caution over northern waters as strong winds and rough seas are expected near areas of showers and thunderstorms.

Meanwhile…


At 4:00 p.m. the centre of Hurricane Tomas was located near latitude 20.3 degrees north and longitude 73.8 degrees west or about 110 kilometres southwest of Great Inagua Island.

Tomas is moving toward the northeast near 22 km/h and this motion is expected to continue for the next day followed by a turn toward the east-northeast at a slower forward speed Saturday night and Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 120 km/h, with higher gusts. Tomas is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Tomas is anticipated to strengthen during the next 24 hours followed by weakening of the cyclone Saturday night and Sunday.


The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of these systems.
rlb/lpb
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Quoting presslord:
OK...Who's in charge around here?!?!
not me
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Puerto Rico Hurricane Tomas Local Statement
Blog Update
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Crystal? Sounds like a new face out at the TWC. What's her last name?
meth

lol
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Quoting Stevebahamas:
Is Crystal on the weather channel even qualified?????
who cares she's smoking hot...


Crystal? Sounds like a new face out at the TWC. What's her last name?
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ripping time
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If this was earlier everyone would be p-ing their pants looking at 11n 34w.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Looking at the sat. imagery now, perhaps Tomas looks like its being taken apart already.


...But this is not to say that impacts won't still be significant in the Turks & Caicos tonight (for the blog lurkers out at the Turks & Caicos). There will still be heavy rain and wind regardless. Its just that we are not in worst case scenario mode.
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Is Crystal on the weather channel even qualified?????
who cares she's smoking hot...
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
20 to 30 knots is high. If Tomas had a tight core I could see him holding his own against 20-25 knot shear maybe. Although not with shear above 25 kts. But without a good core I think the shear will start taking Tomas apart later tonight.


Looking at the sat. imagery now, perhaps Tomas looks like its being taken apart already.
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OK...Who's in charge around here?!?!
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Ironic indeed.



Pleased to see the Brits in there helping.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
....weren't you calling for ri and a major like 6 o7 hrs ago????
yep but like always things change and that is no longer possiblebut this am it was possible till the front caught up with him and well the rest will be history
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
What's the present shear now? The inner core does not look that great either. Not well organized enough to fight against 15 or 20 kts of shear the way a well organized storm sometimes can.


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8shr.html

UW-CIMSS calling it at 20 to 30 knots of shear right over Tomas.
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Last night, Tomas had undisturbed symmetrical outflow. Its different now, outflow being disrupted from the west by big trough moving off US east coast.
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
I'm not seeing intensification happening. Not to 80 kts like the discussion says. I think the alternative scenario of weakening is more likely. I'm no expert though. I didn't foresee the blowup last night.


I am agreeing with you. I also have been calling for Tomas to weaken from from its 85 mph wind peak, this morning.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


if ya ask me we are watchin its last gasps and i do not think it will become much more then some mod winds thundershowers with heavy showers near to centre
....weren't you calling for ri and a major like 6 o7 hrs ago????
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Quoting augfan:
Per The Star, St.Lucia, 11/03/10:
" Fond St. Jacques. With the assistance of the French Military, the affected people of Fond St Jacques received water, foodstuff, blankets and other comfort supplies. The British Military have arrived in Soufriere and they will help in several areas including provision of medical assistance, rescue and recovery, engineering, clearing of debris and other obstructions as well as supply of essential provisions. Their assistance and supply distribution operations will begin November 3rd, 2010."
Additionally, Soufriere has electricity back.
)Historically, St. Lucia has been conquered or otherwise occupied seven times each by the British or French.


Ironic indeed.
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Per The Star, St.Lucia, 11/03/10:
" Fond St. Jacques. With the assistance of the French Military, the affected people of Fond St Jacques received water, foodstuff, blankets and other comfort supplies. The British Military have arrived in Soufriere and they will help in several areas including provision of medical assistance, rescue and recovery, engineering, clearing of debris and other obstructions as well as supply of essential provisions. Their assistance and supply distribution operations will begin November 3rd, 2010."
Additionally, Soufriere has electricity back.
(Historically, St. Lucia has been conquered or otherwise occupied seven times each by the British or French.}
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Wow, a 5 minute pause with no posts? I hope I didn't scare everyone off with my jokes. Okay, I'll stop LOL.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Tomas has a long tail.


It sort of looks like a shrimp. Albeit, a wrinkled shrimp (that I wouldn't want to eat).

You're getting the very tail of the shrimp. Mmmm..mmm, enjoy!
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Quoting CycloneUK:


Met office: "An unusually deep area of low pressure "


Unusually deep doesn't do it justice. More like, extraordinarily deep.

I notice weather service statements never like to use sensational words. They are quiet conservative.
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107. JLPR2
Tomas has a long tail.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8506
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its called winter nothing out of the norm for this time of year


Met office: "An unusually deep area of low pressure "
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Uh...WOW!

Eep!


Most saddening phrase in that article:

"LEOGANE, Haiti - Hurricane Tomas flooded the earthquake-shattered remains of a Haitian town on Friday, forcing families who had already lost their homes in one disaster to flee another"
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Oh Geez, that sounds downright scary! I'd turn into an ice cube & never un-thaw!

Hydrus - I admit I am a cold weather wimp! Anything below 65°F is too cold for me!

All bundled up, ready to take poodles for a quick walk. *curse, curse* blasted El Norte winds!


Well, I like to see snow (because it is so rare here). But, I guess I'll get snow so much I'll be bored with it.
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Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting hydrus:
Where in Michigan?...Some areas are much colder and stormier then others..


SE Michigan. LOL, I'll leave it at that to keep my identity a secret, kind of a fun thing to keep people guessing who I am, LOL.
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Uh...WOW!

Eep!
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


The far far far eastern reaches of Tomas, huh?


and more heading our way !!!
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Oh Geez, that sounds downright scary! I'd turn into an ice cube & never un-thaw!

Hydrus - I admit I am a cold weather wimp! Anything below 65°F is too cold for me!

All bundled up, ready to take poodles for a quick walk. *curse, curse* blasted El Norte winds!
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I am going to be moving from NC to Michigan, this will be my last hurricane season in Raleigh. But I'll still be posting here. Got some even colder weather to get used to.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


I am going to be moving from NC to Michigan, this will be my last hurricane season in Raleigh. But I'll still be posting here. Got some even colder weather to get used to.
Where in Michigan?...Some areas are much colder and stormier then others..
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
Receiving the first rains from Tomas in Carolina, Puerto Rico.


The far far far eastern reaches of Tomas, huh?
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Worldwide Cyclones is a site in which you are able to forecast like real National Hurricane Center workers. The information should not be taken for life or death situations!

ATTC21-21


Admins ~ If this is not okay, just remove the comment, and I'll know not to post it anymore.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Shoot, may have to go animal dancing just to keep the blood flowing! It's downright cold here in NWFL...
Yep, I know, I'm a wimp --->
but to me - IT IS COLD! brrrrr


I am going to be moving from NC to Michigan, this will be my last hurricane season in Raleigh. But I'll still be posting here. Got some even colder weather to get used to.
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Receiving the first rains from Tomas in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Shoot, may have to go animal dancing just to keep the blood flowing! It's downright cold here in NWFL...
Yep, I know, I'm a wimp --->
but to me - IT IS COLD! brrrrr
You be awl-right....Sunday will be sunny and warm. 48 hours of"cool" will not hert yu..:)
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Hit the refresh button on the sat. image I am tracking live:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/NCHurricane2009

With each refresh, Tomas looks more and more junked. Its getting really sloppy looking on the infrared.
Maybe Tomas will be NoMas soon..
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Shoot, may have to go animal dancing just to keep the blood flowing! It's downright cold here in NWFL...
Yep, I know, I'm a wimp --->
but to me - IT IS COLD! brrrrr
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its friday night anyone going animal dancing
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Hit the refresh button on the sat. image I am tracking live:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/NCHurricane2009

With each refresh, Tomas looks more and more junked. Its getting really sloppy looking on the infrared.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i animal dance all the time
I do the "funky Chicken" so I guess I animal dance too...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i animal dance all the time


LOL, is there a video of animal dancing? Never heard of this either.
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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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