Tomas spares Haiti, heads out to sea

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:38 PM GMT on November 06, 2010

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Tropical Storm Tomas is over the open Atlantic, headed away from the islands, and is unlikely to trouble any more land areas. Despite bringing heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches to highly vulnerable Haiti yesterday, flooding from the storm is only being blamed for seven deaths thus far, and Haiti has avoided a flooding catastrophe. More Haitians died (12) last weekend from flooding rains of much lesser amounts, so I think part of the credit for the low death toll during Tomas has to go to the preparedness efforts made in advance of the storm. Many people were removed from flood-prone ravines, and flood control ditches and sandbagging efforts helped stymie flood waters. Luck also played a role--had Tomas tracked just ten miles farther west yesterday morning, the eyewall would have avoided disruption from the rugged terrain on Haiti's southwest peninsula. This would have allowed Tomas to strengthen to a Category 2 storm, and the band of very heavy rain to the south of Port-au-Prince would probably have held together and dumped an additional 2 - 4" of rain on the vulnerable earthquake zone.

Tomas plowed through the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands early this morning as a strong tropical storm, and I anticipate that damage in the islands will be minor. Satellite loops show that the storm remains well organized, but clouds from an approaching cold front can be seen to Tomas' north, and the front is expected to catch up to the storm on Sunday and bring a rapid demise for Tomas.


Figure 1. Early afternoon satellite image of Tomas.

Tomas the second most damaging hurricane in St. Lucia history
Prime Minister Stephenson King announced Thursday that damage on the island of St.Lucia was $185 million--five time 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 2. 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 Sunday 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 all4hurricanes:

An average season has the last storm dissipate on November 23rd that's still 17 days away, and this season is not average, i expect 2 more insignificant storms




same here and the 2 more storms will take us too the W storm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114977
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Cowboy, the season's over. Give it a rest please.



i think you may be the one that need too give it a rest plzs


its not overe not tell nov 30th all so we can pick up 2 more storms from now in tell dec heck we have any seen a storm in dec be for so too me the season is now overe in tell jan lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114977
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Cowboy, the season's over. Give it a rest please.

An average season has the last storm dissipate on November 23rd that's still 17 days away, and this season is not average, i expect 2 more insignificant storms
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Cowboy, the season's over. Give it a rest please.
the seasons over in 24 days
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Quoting Neapolitan:
Tomas has led a very yo-yo existence: he became a hurricane (of course) before dropping down to a 40-knot tropical storm; he then climbed back up a bit to become a 45-knot TS for 12 hours, after which he weakened to a tropical depression. He then climbed back up to 45 knots again before dropping back to 40 knots, shot up to a 75-knot hurricane, fell back to a 55-knot tropical storm, and now has become a 65-knot hurricane. To simplify, that's up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and now up (and he's guaranteed to go down at least one more time).

Whew...
Whew is right. That's an awful lot of action, considering that there wasn't a ridge anywhere near to pump.
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11121 S18E44
(-641",-343") β/α Cro/Axx 0070/0010 07/07 C4.5(04:38)
C1.6(08:21)
M5.4(15:27)


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Quoting surfswells100:
looks like this season will cool down from here.

Always does...but remember, 10 of the past 15 seasons have seen storms form after October (and Tomas doesn't count; he's an October leftover). Seven seasons since 1995 have had one post-October storm (including 2009), two other have had two storms, and one--2005--had four more storms form on or after November 1.

I predict at least one and as many as three more to come. Not saying they'll come here, or hit any land, but I think the still-favorable atmospheric and oceanic conditions will be taken advantage of before the end of the year.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13510
Quoting Neapolitan:
Tomas has led a very yo-yo existence: he became a hurricane (of course) before dropping down to a 40-knot tropical storm; he then climbed back up a bit to become a 45-knot TS for 12 hours, after which he weakened to a tropical depression. He then climbed back up to 45 knots again before dropping back to 40 knots, shot up to a 75-knot hurricane, fell back to a 55-knot tropical storm, and now has become a 65-knot hurricane. To simplify, that's up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and now up (and he's guaranteed to go down at least one more time).

Whew...

I just checked in and saw this comment and have to mention that if I remember correctly Tomas also set some records when he was Invest 91 whey back around October 27?
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other view
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623


nice flare sw quad
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
TPIO11 PGTW 062351

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE 05B (JAL)

B. 06/2330Z

C. 12.3N

D. 83.0E

E. THREE/MET7

F. T4.5/4.5/D0.5/24HRS STT: S0.0/06HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 30A/PBO CDO/ANMTN. LLCC EMBEDDED INTO LG YIELDING A
DT OF 4.5. FT BASED ON DT. PT AND MET AGREE.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS:
06/2001Z 12.1N 83.3E AMSR
06/2016Z 12.3N 83.2E MMHS


KIENZLE
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
looks like this season will cool down from here.
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By the way, I see the 10% CATL AOI has been raised to a still-yellow 20%.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13510
Kermit on the way to Tomas? what about the other muppits!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Tomas has led a very yo-yo existence: he became a hurricane (of course) before dropping down to a 40-knot tropical storm; he then climbed back up a bit to become a 45-knot TS for 12 hours, after which he weakened to a tropical depression. He then climbed back up to 45 knots again before dropping back to 40 knots, shot up to a 75-knot hurricane, fell back to a 55-knot tropical storm, and now has become a 65-knot hurricane. To simplify, that's up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and now up (and he's guaranteed to go down at least one more time).

Whew...
welcome too the rollercoaster but we are just about at the end of the ride
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Tomas has led a very yo-yo existence: he became a hurricane (of course) before dropping down to a 40-knot tropical storm; he then climbed back up a bit to become a 45-knot TS for 12 hours, after which he weakened to a tropical depression. He then climbed back up to 45 knots again before dropping back to 40 knots, shot up to a 75-knot hurricane, fell back to a 55-knot tropical storm, and now has become a 65-knot hurricane. To simplify, that's up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and now up (and he's guaranteed to go down at least one more time).

Whew...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13510
Special Advisory... 80mph

800 PM AST SAT NOV 06 2010

...TOMAS REGAINS HURRICANE STRENGTH AS IT MOVES INTO THE OPEN
ATLANTIC...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...25.0N 69.7W
ABOUT 260 MI...415 KM NNE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...986 MB...29.12 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.


Discussion:
DESPITE THE SOMEWHAT RAGGED APPEARANCE OF THE SYSTEM IN INFRARED
IMAGERY...DATA FROM A NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT
TOMAS HAS RE-INTENSIFIED TO HURRICANE STRENGTH....
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<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Quoting hydrus:
ESPECIALLY when it is Snook, Pompano, Trout, Snapper, Wahoo, Calamari and Shrimp prepared in garlic and onion sauce. Served with onion rings, rice and ice cold beer.....Dam I am hungry...Pizza tonight though..:)
Snook! now you're talking! Snook are even more fun to catch!
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000
ABNT20 KNHC 061739
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT SAT NOV 6 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM TOMAS...LOCATED ABOUT 115 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF GRAND TURK
ISLAND.

A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAS DEVELOPED ABOUT 1100
MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA IN ASSOCIATION WITH A SURFACE
TROUGH AND AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW. THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE
TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AND SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE OVER THE
NEXT DAY OR TWO BEFORE IT REACHES COOLER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114977
Hey yo
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Hurricane again

wtnt61 knhc 062308
tcuat1

hurricane tomas tropical cyclone update
nws tpc/national hurricane center miami fl al212010
715 pm ast sat nov 06 2010

...reconnaissance aircraft indicates that tomas has regained hurricane strength...

shortly before 700 pm ast...2300 utc...a noaa hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft indicated that maximum sustained winds in tomas have increased to 75 mph...120 km/hr...making tomas a hurricane again. details will follow in a special advisory to be issued by 800 pm ast...0000 utc.


summary of 715 pm ast...2315 utc...information
--------------------------------------------------
location...24.8n 69.8w
about 250 mi...400 km nne of grand turk island maximum sustained winds...75 mph...120 km/hr present movement...nne or 20 degrees at 15 mph...25 km/hr minimum central pressure...986 mb...29.11 inches
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
maybe if ya had a fishing pole with a big hook and a good cast ya could reel it in there


I'll be happy if ya could send us some rain. Already dry here, with a drier winter ahead, if the forecast bears out.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
URNT15 KWBC 062248
NOAA2 2221A TOMAS HDOB 18 20101106
223830 2449N 06939W 6958 03051 9861 +141 +103 159031 032 062 005 00
223900 2448N 06937W 6960 03047 9850 +148 +102 167032 032 063 004 00
223930 2446N 06936W 6956 03052 9852 +146 +103 177037 041 063 004 00
224000 2445N 06935W 6958 03053 9861 +142 +103 182042 044 064 003 03
224030 2445N 06932W 6958 03062 9888 +125 +117 184055 061 064 007 00
224100 2445N 06930W 6959 03068 9905 +117 +121 183074 079 063 007 00
224130 2445N 06928W 6950 03088 //// +106 //// 180077 079 060 012 21
224200 2445N 06926W 6948 03101 //// +098 //// 173074 075 058 018 21
224230 2445N 06923W 6953 03099 //// +104 //// 176068 071 057 025 21
224300 2445N 06921W 6962 03095 //// +102 //// 172066 068 052 021 21
224330 2445N 06919W 6964 03099 //// +098 //// 167065 065 050 016 21
224400 2445N 06917W 6987 03079 //// +099 //// 169065 066 049 011 21
224430 2445N 06915W 6966 03107 //// +100 //// 166059 064 050 013 21
224500 2444N 06913W 6965 03115 //// +099 //// 166058 059 053 017 21
224530 2444N 06911W 6952 03125 //// +083 //// 164063 067 057 020 25
224600 2444N 06909W 6954 03126 //// +081 //// 162059 060 045 009 21
224630 2444N 06907W 6952 03141 //// +086 //// 165057 058 045 006 21
224700 2444N 06905W 6955 03139 //// +089 //// 165055 056 044 006 21
224730 2444N 06903W 6966 03134 //// +088 //// 164054 055 043 008 21
224800 2444N 06901W 6973 03125 0021 +095 +091 174059 060 044 010 00

79 kt at flight level, 64 kt at surface
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Quoting Orcasystems:

I really doubt it.. there is nothing to take it there that I can see?
maybe if ya had a fishing pole with a big hook and a good cast ya could reel it in there
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Aren't the Netherland Antilles relatively dry compared to other caribbean islands? I know ARuba is very dry, and apparently so is Curacao. Not sure about Bonaire.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i was wundering do ya think its going to the gulf

I really doubt it.. there is nothing to take it there that I can see?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TSPIN BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
i was wundering do ya think its going to the gulf
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Complete Update


AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TSPIN BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Patrap:
GOM IR Loop

looks like the ac has been turn on over the gulf waitin on the rtn flow
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
Monster low coming into sight:



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you are not out there putting up lights are ya
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623
I've never posted here before but I followed Dr. Masters blogging on Tomas and the comments here too because I'm interested in Haiti. Seems like all the advance info on this storm must have saved lives in Haiti. Following Haiti news is really frustrating because it seems like nothing is really changing for them, but the forecasting on this storm was so accurate and there was so much advance notice, which must have been heeded by the Haitian government, it just seemed that for once the Haitians were being taken care of, by you forecasters and their government. (the kind of thing we, in the US, take for granted all the time)

Apparently, because this storm had hurricane potential all kinds of resources were made available which made such a difference. As Dr. Masters has said, more Haitians have died in un-named storms than in this one. I'm posting to ask, does it seem like Haiti could use some weather predicting capacity, so deaths from lesser storms can be prevented? I noticed that the only available radar was from Cuba, so it seems like there is no radar for all of Hispaniola? For a country as flood prone as Haiti, with a huge, populated coastline, that seems to be another really horrible situation. I'll bet the average small town in the US has better weather predicting capabilities than these two densely populated countries (Haiti and Dom Rep) in the storm prone Caribbean. I don't know what goes into forecasting (sorry) but since people are dying in rain storms, does it seem like something that should be addressed ASAP? It's been said that Haiti was lucky to have not been hit earlier by a hurricane, what are the chances they will be that lucky next year? It would also be nice to think the 1 mill plus people in tents would have roofs over their head by next summer, but er, maybe that won't happen. Seems the National Hurricane Center has some responsibility for hurricane forecasting in the Caribbean, couldn't the NHC improve forecasting on Hispaniola, like set up some radar or something, which would maybe improve their ability to forecast for the region? Or is there any other logical way to improve weather forecasting so that people won't die in rainstorms? (assuming that's the big problem, maybe not having access to info is also a problem in Haiti) Sorry if this is too vague, just another really troubling thing about Haiti.

I can see that weather people must be really concerned about Haiti. That's nice because it doesn't seem like too many other people are. (I think it would take a volcanic eruption for Haiti to merit attention in the US news) Thanks for any response to my rambling post.
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GOM IR Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127936
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127936
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Rainbands from the Tomas-trough complex now dumping moisture over Bermuda, while some 10 inches of rain in total are possible over parts of Nova Scotia from the same system.



Cyclone Jal is a huge system as its CDO alone appears to span 10 x 8 deg (lat x long diameter), 18 x 20 deg for the outer bands of the whole system.



That could bring devastating flooding rains to Sri Lanka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kamataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Yeah we've had a huge change in humidity since earlier in the week when dewpoints were around 55F and now they are around 70F. Winds today in Bermuda have gusted near gale force at times, and its been overcast with occasional light showers. Only a trace has fallen where I'm at in Bermuda.
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Quoting Orcasystems:




You might want to come and give me a hand.... ladder keeps falling
Tomas looking very elongated... I will send Mister Magoo to hold the ladder..he he
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
That set your clock post jumps out at ya...scared the bleep outta me.!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you can use the lights make sure there plugged in to give you that glowing look as you sway in the wind




You might want to come and give me a hand.... ladder keeps falling
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53623


Rainbands from the Tomas-trough complex now dumping moisture over Bermuda, while some 10 inches of rain in total are possible over parts of Nova Scotia from the same system.



Cyclone Jal is a huge system as its CDO alone appears to span 10 x 8 deg (lat x long diameter), 18 x 20 deg for the outer bands of the whole system.



That could bring devastating flooding rains to Sri Lanka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kamataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Curacao looks like it has a fairly dry climate. 21.73" a year. May not be equipped to deal with heavy rain.

With a high average temperature the whole year I bet the island is pretty deserty looking.


Yes Curacao is a very dry island...but this has been the worst year of rain! We never had major flood issues...now we have to deal with the situation.
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Cyclone Jal:

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Thank you for the update hydrus!!
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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.