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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HurricaneTomas's heading turned eastward to (8.7degrees north of) dueEast
from it's previous heading of (1.8degrees north of) NorthNorthEast
H.Tomas's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions increased to ~15.3mph(~24.7km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~12.3mph(~19.8km/h)
TS.Tomas
5Nov 12amGMT - 16.9n75.9w - 60mph(~96.6km/h) - - 993mb - NHC.Adv.#27A
5Nov 03amGMT - 17.3n75.5w - 65mph(~104.6km/h) - 989mb - NHC.Adv.#28
5Nov 06amGMT - 17.9n75.3w - 65mph(~104.6km/h) - 989mb - NHC.Adv.#28A
H.Tomas
5Nov 09amGMT - 18.1n74.9w - 80mph(~128.7km/h) - 984mb - NHC.Adv.#29
5Nov 12pmGMT - 18.8n74.7w - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - 987mb - NHC.Adv.#2
5Nov 03pmGMT - 19.1n74.4w - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - 987mb - NHC.Adv.#30
5Nov 06pmGMT - 19.8n74.0w - 85mph(~136.8km/h) - 987mb - NHC.Adv.#30A
5Nov 09pmGMT - 20.3n73.8w - 75mph(~120.7km/h) - 991mb - NHC.Adv.#31
6Nov 12amGMT - 20.4n73.1w - 75mph(~120.7km/h) - 994mb - NHC.Adv.#31A

Copy&paste 16.9n75.9w, 17.3n75.5w, 17.9n75.3w, 18.1n74.9w, 18.8n74.7w-19.1n74.4w, 19.1n74.4w-19.8n74.0w, 19.8n74.0w-20.3n73.8w, 20.3n73.8w-20.4n73.1w, cri, gdt, ngd into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and the distances traveled over the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~12&1/2 days from now to Tiouilit ,Mauritania, Africa
Copy&paste 20.3n73.8w-20.4n73.1w, cri, nkc, 20.4n73.1w-18.75n16.15w into the GreatCircleMapper if ya wanna check. The easternmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Tropical Storm 21L

ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.1
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 NOV 2010 Time : 001500 UTC
Lat : 20:53:59 N Lon : 73:24:52 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
4.3 / 983.2mb/ 72.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
4.3 4.3 4.1

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +1.0mb

Center Temp : -67.1C Cloud Region Temp : -67.5C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : MW HOLD
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

****************************************************


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
ATCF, which earlier said Tomas was a TS (see comment #191) has changed that back to a hurricane:

AL, 21, 2010110600, , BEST, 0, 204N, 731W, 65, 994, HU, 64, NEQ, 20, 20, 0, 0, 1006, 180, 30, 75, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, TOMAS, M, 12, NEQ, 90, 180, 45, 90
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Still steady gentle rain with very light wind on Providenciales.
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21L/TS/T
MARK
21.11N/73.23W


tropical storm now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting PRweathercenter:
i agree, several models have Tomas moving slightly ESE, but i don't think it will over us, but look what happened with us and Hurricane Otto, there was a lot of rain here.
He seems to be south of Big Inagua now in the bahamas moving a bit north of East.
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232. JLPR2
Those are some decently high 1hr totals.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
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What about Rita?
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Quoting caneswatch:


I was on I-95 the Saturday when it hit, it was pitch black to the east the entire trip (WPB to Jacksonville).


The skies were threatening, but it didn't produce as much as it was in store for. Some isolated power outages from the heavier squalls otherwise it was just a regular muggy and relatively windy summer day.
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center of Tomas could cross over the Turks and Caicos or just south of them.
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Quoting luigi18:


How Bad?


Hey man meteorology is like playing in the roulette none seems to understand our mother earth with accuracy is incredible!
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 483
Quoting hurricaneben:


I dont recall anything better just some rain and decent wind in the 25-30 MPH range gusts possibly a bit closer to TS-Force.


I was on I-95 the Saturday when it hit, it was pitch black to the east the entire trip (WPB to Jacksonville).
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Quoting PRweathercenter:
Ponce is getting hammered right now!!


How Bad?
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 483
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


A second round of potentially catastrophic heavy rains swing southeastward over Haiti as the storm pulls to the northeast away from Hispanola.

Puerto Rico about to get hit by eastern flank.

sure looks that way astro
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Quoting caneswatch:


Extremely dark sky, a nice rain, and TD-force winds.


I dont recall anything better just some rain and decent wind in the 25-30 MPH range gusts possibly a bit closer to TS-Force.
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IRLoopTomasLink
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Quoting hurricaneben:
Does anybody living in South Florida recall any effects from Hurricane Dennis ('05)? I think we got like TS Conditions, but it wasn't terrible here mainly bad along the Florida Panhandle and Alabama.


Extremely dark sky, a nice rain, and TD-force winds.
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Does anybody living in South Florida recall any effects from Hurricane Dennis ('05)? I think we got like TS Conditions, but it wasn't terrible here mainly bad along the Florida Panhandle and Alabama.
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Interesting story on Haiti, current, today
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9JA4F4O0.htm

Baracoa, Cuba was apparently completely evacuated for TOMAS. It was wrecked in the 10/18/10 hurricane. Baracoa is a "sister-city" of Saint Augustine, FL.
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211. JLPR2
Quoting PRweathercenter:
i agree, several models have Tomas moving slightly ESE, but i don't think it will over us, but look what happened with us and Hurricane Otto, there was a lot of rain here.


That's what I'm thinking, could be bad if it passes to our north as a sloppy TS, it isn't the wind its the rain. :\
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting JLPR2:
Southwestern PR is going to get wet soon.
Ponce is getting hammered right now!!
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Quoting JLPR2:


I wouldn't base a forecast solely on the GFS, but it is a possibility that it could pass close to our north.
i agree, several models have Tomas moving slightly ESE, but i don't think it will over us, but look what happened with us and Hurricane Otto, there was a lot of rain here.
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@ Steve,

Glad to see I'm not talking to myself out there all the time ... lol

Anyway, I'm out...
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This season has been pretty weird in a number of ways... I keep saying I think we are going to have some very interesting post season discussions... and BTW I am not so convinced we're going to see the last of tropical formation Nov 30... this looks like the kind of season where we'll be looking at a W-storm on Dec 10....

Anyway, I'm out for a while - gotta drive home from Starbucks....
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I've been reading this blog for about 5 years now but never said anything, i love sitting back reading everyones opposite opinions to the NHC trying to challenge their tracks & thoughts, they have been amazing this year!!!!! spot on!!!
Also all the Joe Bastardi bashers out there, he may have ADD & annoying but he predicted a MASSIVE season a long,long time ago & he's definitely born to judge mother nature.
Kudos to crazy Joe, he's not perfect but he's good.....
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204. JLPR2
Southwestern PR is going to get wet soon.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
What's even more strange about this season is that compaired to 2005 this season had a slow start!
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202. JLPR2
Quoting luigi18:


When do you think


If it does move east it should be to our north sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday.(approximately)
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747


A second round of potentially catastrophic heavy rains swing southeastward over Haiti as the storm pulls to the northeast away from Hispanola.

Puerto Rico about to get hit by eastern flank.
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Quoting presslord:


my Mom is at a football game in NE suburban Atlanta and just texted me that it's sleeting...


Miserable night. Hope they have no travel problems.

Having grown up in Minnesota I sometimes miss the wintry precip.... And then I come to my senses.

We were in Daytona, for the sleet/snow event last January. A first for my family here.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting JLPR2:


I wouldn't base a forecast solely on the GFS, but it is a possibility that it could pass close to our north.


When do you think
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 483
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196. JLPR2
Quoting luigi18:

>Oye Pana el diablo Tomas viene para aca segun el GFS?


I wouldn't base a forecast solely on the GFS, but it is a possibility that it could pass close to our north.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
yeah
Member Since: November 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
Quoting lightningbolt73:
I also heard Atlanta had a chance of showers possibly mixed with sleet today, however the sleet was not going to stick, because it was too warm!


my Mom is at a football game in NE suburban Atlanta and just texted me that it's sleeting...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting JLPR2:


Yep, but even if it has managed to turn into a surface trough aided by the upper trough, wind shear is nowhere near favorable so I doubt we will see anything out of this.
>Oye Pana el diablo Tomas viene para aca segun el GFS?
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 483
He may be a TS for the rest of his life as a TC... these late-season storms that exit over the Bahamas often go straight to extratropical around 25 - 30N...
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ATCF says he's a tropical storm again:

AL, 21, 2010110600, , BEST, 0, 204N, 731W, 60, 994, TS, 50, NEQ, 30, 40, 30, 10,
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Quoting PRweathercenter:

i agree, a slight jog to the ENE, that's better for the Turks and Caicos
the trough has trapped Tomas
Member Since: November 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
Quoting hydrus:
I would bet Cincinnati has had snow earlier than November...We had our first flurries and ice pellets today too..
I also heard Atlanta had a chance of showers possibly mixed with sleet today, however the sleet was not going to stick, because it was too warm!
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
Tomas at 5pm 20.3N 73.8W

and now Tomas at 8pm 20.4N 73.1W

moving east in the past 3 hours !!!

also weaker !!!

i agree, a slight jog to the ENE, that's better for the Turks and Caicos
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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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