If you can, playing the video in HD makes it much easier to see things. The video will play in low quality by default. If HD quality isn't available, then it will be in a few minutes. Let me know if you have problems or questions about the video.
Tomas has weakened to a tropical storm as convection was stripped away from his center yesterday by sinking air on the western side of the storm due to racing trade winds out of the east to the west of the center. However, the area of convection south of Jamaica shows where the trade winds are slowing down and piling up, and this means that Tomas is going to come back and be a hurricane threatening the eastern Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti area later this week. How strong this gets will depend on how fast it builds a new core. One can already see the hot-towers going off on the east side of the center as convection tries to rebuild. This could easily go back up to Cat 2 before landfall, and although chances of a major hurricane are lower since Tomas weakened a bit more than anticipated, we will have to keep an eye out for rapid feedback as this comes north into the trough.
The area of convergence in the western Caribbean south of Jamaica also illustrates where the periphery of the high is going to set up as the trough dives into the eastern US, and this is where Tomas will begin his turn to the north in 2-3 days. Depending on how strong he is, he may take his time getting dragged out of the Caribbean, which could cause a lot of problems if he's a slow mover, but if he becomes strong he will likely exit at a decent speed. Overall, the big Caribbean islands, specifically eastern Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti, should be bracing for a hurricane later this week, possibly a strong one, despite the way the storm looks right now. The overall pattern spoken about for a while now dictates a favorable environment for a strong storm to develop in this area this week, so folks can't let their guard down.
We'll have to see if Tomas is the closing finale of the season. There is a suspicious-looking area east of the Caribbean within the ITCZ, and the MJO forecast shows upward motion remaining over the Atlantic and Caribbean through Day 15.
We shall see what happens!
Tropical Storm Tomas Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):
Tropical Storm Tomas Track Models:
Caribbean/East Pacific Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):
Central Atlantic Visible/IR2 Satellite (click image for loop):
Atlantic Tropical Surface Analysis:
200mb Vertical Velocity (green areas represent upward motion associated with the MJO):