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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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Put your clothes back on Sweetie. You should know better than to take advice from folk with mischievous minds. lol

I knew I was missing something. LOL
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Put your clothes back on Sweetie. You should know better than to take advice from folk with mischievous minds. lol


LOL!
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Quoting geepy86:
I'm cold, brrrrr.


Put your clothes back on Sweetie. You should know better than to take advice from folk with mischievous minds. lol
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting geepy86:
I'm cold, brrrrr.


Here where I work has got to be the coldest place in the state of Florida!!
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Calling for a low of 49 degrees in n. Dade Fl. tonight. Amazing is all I can say for this time of year.Presently 57. Well good night all hope it wasn't to bad in Haiti.
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I hate when I kill the blog.
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I'm cold, brrrrr.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


I love old people...lol!!


Yeah, yeah. Someday..... LOL.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


That is not good at all. Crap.


I love old people...lol!!
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Evil Spawn



That is not good at all. Crap.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
428. JLPR2
Quoting Grothar:


If it is that low, you better go see a doctor right away.


Nah I'll be alright, but I'll keep 911 on quick dial just in case. :S
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Evil Spawn

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426. JLPR2
I blame my temp on this thing:

Also, Tomas looks very interesting since it connected to that band of convection.
Almost reminds me of one of those tall British guard hats. xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
I'd wish I could stay and chat...looks like a lot of the old night crew is here. Hi Trauma! I got to hit the rack or I'll be dragging tomorrow.


Night and good luck with the game.

Now we're the "Old" night crew. LOL. He has a point.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
I'd wish I could stay and chat...looks like a lot of the old night crew is here. Hi Trauma! I got to hit the rack or I'll be dragging tomorrow.
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Quoting JLPR2:
I'm at 81F with a heat index of 87F at 1am, not fun at all. :\


If it is that low, you better go see a doctor right away.
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iam out catch ya in the am
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Hello there PI. How goes it?
Just checking on Tomas. Got to get up early and take my boys to their basketball game in the am....8 o'clock tip-off.
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420. JLPR2
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 1:00 AM EDT Saturday 6 November 2010
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 30.02 inches
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 2

Temperature: 31.6°F
Dewpoint: 28.4°F
Humidity: 88 %
Wind: NW 7 mph
Wind Chill: 25


Hmm...
After looking at that I will take my heat index any day...
Wind Chills aren't my thing. XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
we are forecasted to bottom out at 27f tonight with chills in 18 to 20 range
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Other than a freak trough split with the current or some action out of the CATL disturbance, season is done.

Jupiter, FL (SE)
Clear and much colder. Near record lows in the upper 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
42 at present with a 65-68 degree day in store for tomorrow. All time record highs for these parts in Nov. are 70-72.


Hello there PI. How goes it?
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting JLPR2:
I'm at 81F with a heat index of 87F at 1am, not fun at all. :\


Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 1:00 AM EDT Saturday 6 November 2010
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 30.02 inches
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 2

Temperature: 31.6°F
Dewpoint: 28.4°F
Humidity: 88 %
Wind: NW 7 mph
Wind Chill: 25
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
42 at present with a 65-68 degree day in store for tomorrow. All time record highs for these parts in Nov. are 70-72.
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414. JLPR2
I'm at 81F with a heat index of 87F at 1am, not fun at all. :\
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, 40's are to us what 0 is to you! LOL


haha yeah thats true. I just want some snow
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Freezing here too.....when I grow up I am moving to florida...lol!!

well it's 45 here.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Freezing here too.....when I grow up I am moving to florida...lol!!


Cool! (pun.... intended).
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting tornadodude:


Lawrenceville-Vincennes Intl Airport
Lat: 38.76 Lon: -87.6 Elev: 430
Last Update on Nov 5, 10:53 pm CDT

A Few Clouds

35 °F
(2 °C)
Humidity: 67 %
Wind Speed: W 3 MPH
Barometer: 30.15" (1021.2 mb)
Dewpoint: 25 °F (-4 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.


Hey, 40's are to us what 0 is to you! LOL
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404-407. Nice! Each with it's own laugh. Thank you.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Upper 30's for you? Brrr.


Freezing here too.....when I grow up I am moving to florida...lol!!
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it's 45 here, and yes I have lots of clothing on. lol
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Quoting Portlight:


I thought a toll was the fee ya paid to drive on certain roads...

better atoll than atroll
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Upper 30's for you? Brrr.


they're showin' low of 43f out here on Folly Beach...biggest trouble with that is the girls will be wearing way too much clothing...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Upper 30's for you? Brrr.


The weather station at my house is reading 29 degrees fahrenheit... then again I live in Michigan
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Quoting presslord:
Hey back at ya!


Upper 30's for you? Brrr.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting KoritheMan:


Porygon ftw? :P


YES. PORYGON FOR THE WIN!
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401. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #14
SEVERE CYCLONIC STORM JAL (BOB05-2010)
5:30 AM IST November 6 2010
==========================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Severe Cyclonic Storm Jal moved westwards, and lays centered over southwest Bay of Bengal near 10.0N 85.5E, or about 500 km east northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 650 km east-southeast of Chennai and 750 km southeast of Nellore

3 minute sustained winds near the center is 55 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The central pressure is 990 hPa. The state of the sea is very high around the system's center.

Animation of past 24 hrs INSAT imagery indicates increasing in deep convection and cloud mass is more organized. The Dvorak intensity is T3.5. The cloud dense overcast with well defined banding features. Intense to very intense convection around the system center and broken intense to very intense convection between 6.0N to 15.5N and west of 89.0E. The lowest cloud top temperature due to convection is around -80C to -85C.

It would intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm. The system would move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Nellore close to Chennai by Sunday night.

Forecast and Intensity
==========================
6 HRS: 10.5N 85.0E - 55 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
12 HRS: 11.0N 84.5E - 60 knots (Severe Cyclonic Storm)
36 HRS: 13.0N 81.5E - 65 knots (Very Severe Cyclonic Storm)
60 HRS: 14.5N 78.0E - 25 knots (Depression)

Vertical wind shear of horizontal wind over the region is low to moderate. 24 hour tendency of vertical wind shear shows negative over north of the system during past 24 hours. Sea surface temperature is 29-31C and the ocean heat content over south Bay of Benal 90-100 kj/cm2 which is favorable for intensification. The relative vorticity at 850 HPA level is 15-20*10-5S-1) and upper level divergence around the system center is also favorable for intensification. The system lies to the south of tropospheric ridge, which roughly runs along 15.0N at 200 HPA level.

Storm surge of about 1-2 metres above the astronomical tide may inundate the low lying areas of Nellore & Prakasam districts of Andhra pradesh and Tiruvallur, Chennai & Kanchipuram districts at the time of landfall.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


Of course you can change your name. The cuckoos on here do it all the time.


LOL... cuckoo, cuckoo.
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
Quoting Grothar:


Gettingh very cold here in Ft. Lauderdale. They even expect some 40's inland.


Lawrenceville-Vincennes Intl Airport
Lat: 38.76 Lon: -87.6 Elev: 430
Last Update on Nov 5, 10:53 pm CDT

A Few Clouds

35 °F
(2 °C)
Humidity: 67 %
Wind Speed: W 3 MPH
Barometer: 30.15" (1021.2 mb)
Dewpoint: 25 °F (-4 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
just got back from a little walk on da beach...was colder than my mother-in-laws' heart 46F...


Gettingh very cold here in Ft. Lauderdale. They even expect some 40's inland.
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Hey back at ya!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting BahaHurican:
I don't know that u can. I'd suggest emailing support to find out one way or the other. But somehow I think u'd have to get a new account altogether to change your username...


Thanks.
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, this is a family blog. Really think you should be throwing around words like detritus in front of the kids?


Good comeback.

Hey Press!
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting presslord:
just got back from a little walk on da beach...was colder than my mother-in-laws' heart 46F...


Now THAT was cold. LOL
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Oh fudge! Did you know we can legitimately use the word annular here?

as "..an annular reef enclosing a lagoon in which there are no promontories other than reefs and islets composed of reef detritus"


Hey, this is a family blog. Really think you should be throwing around words like detritus in front of the kids?
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Quoting hurristat:


Nope, and I never did :P LOL


Porygon ftw? :P
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just got back from a little walk on da beach...was colder than my mother-in-laws' heart 46F...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting presslord:


better than I look...


First look in the mirror in the morning is scary isn't it? I keep the lights off now.
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Quoting Grothar:


Now that is a scary thought!


indeed LOL
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Quoting bluenosedave:


Depends on what, and what you don't, count as an atoll. It's a matter of definition.

In any case, you won't deny that atolls most likely occur in the oldest ocean basins.


Nope, and I never did :P LOL
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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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