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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Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

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Quoting caneswatch:


What pod people lol


Don't you remember the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" from 1956?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
I think the country of Haiti is beyond salvage.It's nothing but a lot of mud. Perhaps the US could relocate them to some of the unused vacant land in Florida or Arizona.


NOT Florida.....You want em moved.....put em in the bayou over next to your house!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hear its getting a little cool right now down south... could this be a picture of things to come??

No. I decline.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Good grief! The cold cloud tops over Haiti are not welcome.


Just saw that in the last few frames. Must be a lot of rain over a very mountainous terrain.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


Good grief. You sound like one of the pod people.


What pod people lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Snowmen for all!

We did get some snow last winter. I was in Daytona for it. Early January.

I'd take it, but I don't think Gro would approve.


No, I wouldn't.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


Good grief! The cold cloud tops over Haiti are not welcome.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hear its getting a little cool right now down south... could this be a picture of things to come??



Snowmen for all!

We did get some snow last winter. I was in Daytona for it. Early January.

I'd take it, but I don't think Gro would approve.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting Orcasystems:


"People like you are the reason people like me take pills!"


True, but while you can get a few moments reprieve of my presence, I must endure yours in its totality. (Hey, Orca, we're beginning to sound like Churchill)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Sorry to hear that. It was a cold winter, by FL standards.


I hear its getting a little cool right now down south... could this be a picture of things to come??

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Looking NNW from Port-au-Prince see very heavy lightning all most nonstop very heavy storms near the city of Boucassin- Aubrey area. No local radar but i would expect 1-3 hr rain fall rates. I see over shooting tops with anvil crawlers NNW of my location. I would EXPECT major flooding to my north tonight. Death toll up to six west of Port-au-Prince west about 60KM. I also understand from a local Gov man told me that a small town on south shore East of Jacmel Haiti may have other victims at that location.

Jim & I were able to be part of the UN & US Army delegation today to inspect the tent city location in Port-au-Prince with UN police escort amazing experience.MAY GOD”S GRACE BLESS THESE PEOPLE!!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 11:00 PM EDT Friday 5 November 2010
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 29.96 inches
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 2

Temperature: 34.9°F
Dewpoint: 28.9°F
WindChill: 27.8 f
Humidity: 79 %
Wind: E 11 mph


Snow :) soon :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 11:00 PM EDT Friday 5 November 2010
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 29.96 inches
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 2

Temperature: 34.9°F
Dewpoint: 28.9°F
WindChill: 27.8 f
Humidity: 79 %
Wind: E 11 mph
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


You know me.. if you can't baffle them with brilliance... Have them laugh with you.. instead of at you :)

I think I just put a few together and made a new one?


You inserted a new B word. Rather, 2, as I see it. Kudos.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting BahaHurican:
Cute, Grothar, but wrong basin... lol

I always have wondered why atolls occur with so much greater frequency in the Pacific than in the Atlantic...


There are actually a lot of atolls in the Caribbean. They can occur anywhere there is coral.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Strengthening again...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Grothar:


Good grief. You sound like one of the pod people.


"People like you are the reason people like me take pills!"
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting Grothar:


As long as they laugh. Better than arguing any day. Keep them coming.


Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting caneswatch:


But yet, I became one with the New Englanders and enjoyed the cold lol


Good grief. You sound like one of the pod people.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


Just don't want a repeat of last year. Lost a great coconut palm and a lot of nice plants.


Sorry to hear that. It was a cold winter, by FL standards.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting Orcasystems:


You know me.. if you can't baffle them with brilliance... Have them laugh with you.. instead of at you :)

I think I just put a few together and made a new one?


As long as they laugh. Better than arguing any day. Keep them coming.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting Grothar:


Just don't want a repeat of last year. Lost a great coconut palm and a lot of nice plants.


But yet, I became one with the New Englanders and enjoyed the cold lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


XD
I see three blank comments, empty comments aren't interesting. :\


:(
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Grothar:
Look to the right of the screen.


wHAT???? HUH???? HOW???? IS THIS SEASON NEVER GOING TO END??? HOW CAN THERE STILL BE SUCH HUGH GLOBS OF CONVECTION IN FAR EAST ATLANTIC AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR????? OMG...NOT ENOUGH CHOCOLATE FOR THIS SEASON!! LOL
But, seriously, I hope there is no loss of life in Haiti or TCI or anywhere else. Lots of prayers for all those affected by this storm and past ones this season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Come on Cody, don't go back and modify and say they were there all the time. LOL Look at your post #271.


It's not there :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Cute, Grothar, but wrong basin... lol

I always have wondered why atolls occur with so much greater frequency in the Pacific than in the Atlantic...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


I prefer this to the heat. Must be the years spent in MN. Cold without snow = happy PSL.


Just don't want a repeat of last year. Lost a great coconut palm and a lot of nice plants.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
no worries now, but in the future(next week or so) maybe
Points of origin charts 1851-present
Member Since: November 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
Orca, that's bumper sticker and t-shirt material right there... good stuff! lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting BahaHurican:
It's Kman started me with that.... I was doing T/C, but that was confusing too. It's not as intuitive as BVI, but I think it works better than a lot of alternatives...


I don't like using abbreviations for the Islands. Never made any sense atoll.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
302. JLPR2
Quoting Snowfire:


Also a whole lot of shear and dry air ahead of them. Maybe later.....


Them being happy doesn't mean conditions are favorable. XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
301. Snowfire
2:51 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting JLPR2:
We got some happy areas in the CATL.


Also a whole lot of shear and dry air ahead of them. Maybe later.....
Member Since: June 29, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 311
300. BahaHurican
2:50 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Nite Dean... u r likely 2 need that rest for the "rest" of the season... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
299. Orcasystems
2:50 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


Yo, Orca! Got my 10:45 chuckle out of that one.


You know me.. if you can't baffle them with brilliance... Have them laugh with you.. instead of at you :)

I think I just put a few together and made a new one?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
298. BahaHurican
2:49 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting aspectre:
I know Turks&Caicos. Even heard them spoken of as "T'n'C". Just never heard or read of them referred to as TCI.
Thought about "TropicalCycloneIntensification" but that didn't make much sense placed into the context.
It's Kman started me with that.... I was doing T/C, but that was confusing too. It's not as intuitive as BVI, but I think it works better than a lot of alternatives...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
297. HurricaneDean07
2:48 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting BahaHurican:
280. xCat6Hurricane 10:39 PM EDT on November 05, 2010
Season's a bust


Now that's what I call laconic.... lol
NITE BAHA!!!
getting some much needed rest after a week of tracking Tomas. Hope Hispaniola, East Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
296. PSLFLCaneVet
2:47 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


No, I actually don't function well below 80 deg. I am not like the other Floridians who find this "refreshing" or the lame excuse to visitors. It's a nice change. If I wanted cold I would have stayed in Norway. How do you like it?


I prefer this to the heat. Must be the years spent in MN. Cold without snow = happy PSL.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
295. Grothar
2:46 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:


Think About It

After Monday and Tuesday... even the calendar says - W T F .


Yo, Orca! Got my 10:45 chuckle out of that one.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
294. aspectre
2:46 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Thanks. I know Turks&Caicos.
Even heard them spoken of as "the T'n'C". Just never heard or read of them referred to as TCI.
Thought about "TropicalCycloneIntensification" but that didn't make much sense placed into the context.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
293. BahaHurican
2:44 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
280. xCat6Hurricane 10:39 PM EDT on November 05, 2010
Season's a bust


Now that's what I call laconic.... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
292. Grothar
2:44 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


LOL. Perhaps the energy was spent earlier. Doing well. Are you finding the cooler weather agreeable?


No, I actually don't function well below 80 deg. I am not like the other Floridians who find this "refreshing" or the lame excuse to visitors. It's a nice change. If I wanted cold I would have stayed in Norway. How do you like it?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
291. remembercleo
2:43 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS FOR PR
Member Since: November 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
290. HurricaneDean07
2:43 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
...TOMAS CONTINUING TO PRODUCE HEAVY RAIN OVER HISPANIOLA AND PUERTO RICO...
11:00 PM EDT Fri Nov 5
Location: 20.8°N 72.8°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: NE at 13 mph
Min pressure: 994 mb
and there you have it,
NITE ALL!!!
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
289. BahaHurican
2:42 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
11PM...Still at 75 mph

Yep. That's the shift we've been seeing. Amazing to see those islands "miss the bullet" by such a tiny margin. Hope the Eward shift continues enough to keep the worst winds to the S and E of TCI... they're plenty flat down there, just like the rest of these coral reef sand bars... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
288. HurricaneDean07
2:42 AM GMT on November 06, 2010
Quoting JLPR2:
We got some happy areas in the CATL.
no worries now, but in the future(next week or so) maybe
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129

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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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