Tomas remains weak; St. Lucia hard-hit by the storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:04 PM GMT on November 01, 2010

Share this Blog
2
+

Hurricane Tomas dealt a punishing blow to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia on Saturday, with the neighboring islands of St. Vincent and Barbados also suffering heavy damage. 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. A state of emergency has been declared, and heavy flooding washed out many bridges and roads. Damage to structures is considerable, with many roofs gone, and damage reported to hospitals, schools, and businesses. The Minister of Communications for the island said yesterday that he had done an aerial assessment of the damage, and it was "worse that we could think of." The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility estimated that they will pay out $8.5 million for Barbados, $3.2 million for Saint Lucia, and $1.1 million for St Vincent and the Grenadines.


Figure 1. Torrential rains from Tomas triggered massive flooding on St. Lucia that destroyed several bridges and severely damaged roads. Image credit: Caribbean Hurricane Network.

Tomas remains weak
Satellite loops of Tomas show the classic signature of a tropical storm experiencing high wind shear, with a low-level swirl of clouds and the heavy thunderstorm activity all pushed to the east side of the circulation by strong upper-level winds out of the southwest. A few flare-ups of thunderstorms have occurred near the center of Tomas this morning, a sign that the storm is not going to die anytime soon. Wind shear is a high 20 knots due to strong upper level southwest winds, and these winds are driving dry air at mid-levels of the atmosphere into Tomas' west side, as seen on water vapor satellite imagery.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas.

Track forecast for Tomas
The ridge of high pressure pushing Tomas to the west-northwest will weaken by Tuesday, as a trough of low pressure approaches the eastern U.S. and breaks down the ridge. This will result in Tomas slowing from its current 14 mph forward speed to 5 mph by Tuesday afternoon. By Thursday, the trough to Tomas' north should be able to pull the storm to the north or north-northeast. The exact timing and location of this turn is still uncertain, but the computer models have come into better agreement that Haiti or Jamaica are the most likely targets of Tomas. NHC is giving Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a 40% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds, and a 5% chance of hurricane force winds. These odds are slightly lower for Kingston, Jamaica--29% and 4%, respectively.

However, the latest 2am EDT (06Z) run of the NOGAPS model calls into question whether or not the trough will be strong enough to pull Tomas northward into Haiti. The NOGAPS is keeping Tomas trapped in the Caribbean for the next seven days. The latest runs of the GFS and ECMWF models are also showing that the trough will not be strong enough to pull Tomas fully out to sea, and these models stall the storm just north of Haiti. So, the long-term fate of Tomas is now looking murkier, and the storm may still be in the Caribbean a week from now.

Intensity forecast for Tomas
Wind shear is forecast to remain in the high range today, near 20 knots, then decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, Tuesday through Wednesday. The relaxation of shear should allow Tomas to re-organize Tuesday and Wednesday, though it is unlikely the storm could rebuild its inner core and form and eyewall until Thursday at the earliest. Hampering this process will be the presence of a considerable amount of dry air to Tomas' west. The upper-level winds out of the southwest creating the shear over Tomas will drive this dry air into the core of the storm, slowing intensification. The waters are very warm in the Caribbean and these waters extend to great depth, so a period of rapid intensification just before landfall in Jamaica or Haiti is possible, particularly if the shear drops to the low range, as predicted by the latest SHIPS model forecast. The current south of due west motion of Tomas is putting the storm farther south in the Caribbean than originally expected, which will give the storm more time over water and more time to intensify. The intensity Tomas might have at landfall is thus highly uncertain, and a strength anywhere between a tropical storm and Category 3 hurricane would not be surprising. The HWRF model predicts Tomas will be a strong tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Friday at landfall, while the GFDL foresees Tomas will be a strengthening Category 3 hurricane as it bears down on Haiti Saturday morning. The HWRF model has been under-forecasting intensity this season, and I predict Tomas will be a strengthening Category 1 hurricane on Friday as it makes landfall in Jamaica or Haiti.


Figure 3. Plot of all Category 1 and stronger hurricanes to pass within 50 miles of St. Lucia since reliable record keeping began in 1851. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

St. Lucia's hurricane history
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.

Next update
I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

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

Viewing: 714 - 664

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Grenada:



I think you should try it on a peddle bike.


Uhhh... No room for the family. Besides I like to travel in style.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
i guess we can see where its not going
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting Orcasystems:


Now why would you do that... haven't you looked at a map or globe... Alaska is all uphill from Florida... but then again... you can see Russia from your house up there :)



What a coincidence I just saw Tina Fey on TV.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

I did not get a photo of that one, but have a photo of the one that says

"DANGER!
Landslide under construction"

by the Ministry of Works.
Fabulous!

Also one that very nicely says
'Do Not In Gateway"


I can't laugh this hard anymore.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:


Why, were they really that ugly?? I can't stop laughing. Sorry. Greatest typo ever!!!!!!

I did not get a photo of that one, but have a photo of the one that says

"DANGER!
Landslide under construction"

by the Ministry of Works.
Fabulous!

Also one that very nicely says
'Do Not In Gateway"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kimoskee:


But according to Ernie Smith "ram goat teeth mek earrings fe yu daughter".

Sorry I'm having internet problems so I have to go back and read to see if anyone answered my question about Tomas.
LOL yeah but I said eat and ram goat liver good fe mek mannish water and curry goat lunch put the bite in ya bark.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting Grenada:



I think you should try it on a peddle bike.


Now why would you do that... haven't you looked at a map or globe... Alaska is all uphill from Florida... but then again... you can see Russia from your house up there :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Dakster:
I know many people that have done that drive!

I'll only do it once though...



I think you should try it on a peddle bike.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
The only part of the cow they don't eat in Jamaica is the teeth and the hoof but they eat the foot.


But according to Ernie Smith "ram goat teeth mek earrings fe yu daughter".

Sorry I'm having internet problems so I have to go back and read to see if anyone answered my question about Tomas.
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
Quoting pottery:

you know we are going to hold you to this, right?
Good Going!


I was informed.. I didn't predict it... don't hold me to it... there isn't a hope in... that its gonna happen.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Skyepony:
Fish Tea is something we put on the Tomato Plants..


US President Barack Obama’s November 6-9 visit will roll out an expansive agricultural partnership that could give India — among other things — a more accurate model to predict its dodgy monsoon. Those familiar with the developments are calling it Indian agriculture’s equivalent of “putting man on
related stories

An increasingly truant southwest monsoon remains a big worry for the government, as two-thirds of Indians depend on farm income and 60% of India’s farmed areas remain outside its irrigation network.

Last year, the monsoon was 22% deficient, despite an initial normal forecast. The patchy rains had triggered the worst drought in three decades, raising food prices sharply.

The spadework for the monsoon mission began in July when Planning Commission member, K Kasturirangan, and secretary in the department of earth sciences, Shailesh Nayak, visit-ed the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. “The US model should be available to us by December,” Nayak told HT on Monday.

India homed in on the US model, called the “Couple Forecasting System”, for two reasons. One, it combines both oceanography and atmospherical sciences, unlike the Indian model that relies mainly on the former. Two, scientists feel the US model can be better adapted to Indian conditions.

Once access is granted, scientists from the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and Indian Space Research Organi-sation will team up with NOAA to fine-tune it to suit India’s needs. First, it should predict sudden breaks in monsoon cycle fairly accurately and, secondly, enable more short-term and localised predictions, such as district level predictions.
In the Caribbean it is a soup made with the whole fish but especially the heads.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
Quoting doorman79:


You "non third world country hater" lol!

Yea, They don't need this.

LOL.
And for true.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


You mean like maybe.... Tampa?
if hes out fishing in the GOM
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
I know many people that have done that drive!

I'll only do it once though...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

That reminds me --
a couple of years ago, near a popular bathing area on the coast, there was a leaking sewer that was poluting the sea where people swam.
The sign that was put up, warned of the dangers of swimming, due to human faces in the water.
Scared everyone for miles around....

true story.


Why, were they really that ugly?? I can't stop laughing. Sorry. Greatest typo ever!!!!!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Orcasystems:


No... I was informed in no uncertain terms this morning, that is where its going.

you know we are going to hold you to this, right?
Good Going!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grenada:
Oooer, power went off for a second there, thought I'd lost internet.... is my computer still working?


No... I can't see you???
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Dramatic change in direction has occurred, Orcasystems.
After 24hours of traveling Westward to somewhat south of WestSouthWestward,
TropicalStormTomas's heading turned northward to (8.4degrees north of) dueWest
from it's previous heading of dueWest
TS.Tomas's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions increased to ~16mph(~25.7km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~11.3mph(~~18.2km/h)
TS.Tomas
1Nov. 12amGMT - 14.4n65.6w - 55knots.(~101.9km/h) - - 997mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 14.2n66.5w - 65mph_(~104.6km/h) - - 997mb - NHC.Adv.#12
1Nov. 06amGMT - 13.9n67.1w - 45knots . (~84.3km/h) - 1003mb - ATCF
1Nov. 09amGMT - 13.8n67.7w - 50mph__(~80.5km/h) - 1003mb - NHC.Adv.#13
1Nov. 12pmGMT - 13.6n68.2w - 40knots . (~74.1km/h) - 1005mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03pmGMT - 13.6n68.7w - 45mph__(~72.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#14
1Nov. 06pmGMT - 13.4n69.2w - 40knots . (~74.1km/h) - 1005mb - ATCF
1Nov. 09pmGMT - 13.4n69.7w - 45mph__(~72.4km/h) - 1005mb - NHC.Adv.#15
2Nov. 12amGMT - 13.5n70.4w - 40knots . (~74.1km/h) - 1005mb - ATCF

Copy&paste 14.4n65.6w, 14.2n66.5w, 13.9n67.1w, 13.8n67.7w, 13.6n68.2w-13.6n68.7w, 13.6n68.7w-13.4n69.2w, 13.4n69.2w-13.4n69.7w, 13.4n69.7w-13.5n70.4w, cya, aua, 13.5n70.4w-15.0n83.2w 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:
~2days&4hours from now to Nicaragua's border with Honduras at Cabo Gracias a Dios

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting AustinTXWeather:

Absolutely awesome. :)


Thanks. No matter how many times one see them, they are amazing to see.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
maybe a loop de loop then smack fla


You mean like maybe.... Tampa?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Oooer, power went off for a second there, thought I'd lost internet.... is my computer still working?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
a storm of many faces

That reminds me --
a couple of years ago, near a popular bathing area on the coast, there was a leaking sewer that was poluting the sea where people swam.
The sign that was put up, warned of the dangers of swimming, due to human faces in the water.
Scared everyone for miles around....

true story.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
687. Skyepony (Mod)
Fish Tea is something we put on the Tomato Plants..


US President Barack Obama’s November 6-9 visit will roll out an expansive agricultural partnership that could give India — among other things — a more accurate model to predict its dodgy monsoon. Those familiar with the developments are calling it Indian agriculture’s equivalent of “putting man on
related stories

An increasingly truant southwest monsoon remains a big worry for the government, as two-thirds of Indians depend on farm income and 60% of India’s farmed areas remain outside its irrigation network.

Last year, the monsoon was 22% deficient, despite an initial normal forecast. The patchy rains had triggered the worst drought in three decades, raising food prices sharply.

The spadework for the monsoon mission began in July when Planning Commission member, K Kasturirangan, and secretary in the department of earth sciences, Shailesh Nayak, visit-ed the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration. “The US model should be available to us by December,” Nayak told HT on Monday.

India homed in on the US model, called the “Couple Forecasting System”, for two reasons. One, it combines both oceanography and atmospherical sciences, unlike the Indian model that relies mainly on the former. Two, scientists feel the US model can be better adapted to Indian conditions.

Once access is granted, scientists from the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and Indian Space Research Organi-sation will team up with NOAA to fine-tune it to suit India’s needs. First, it should predict sudden breaks in monsoon cycle fairly accurately and, secondly, enable more short-term and localised predictions, such as district level predictions.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:


ROFLMAO.

One day I will drive from South Florida to Alaska. Plan on spending some time in Canada along the way.


ummmmmmmmmmm
Drive... Florida... to Alaska....
ohh man your making it very hard to be good..

Lets just call it a good plan :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting pottery:

You know something we dont???
Into the Gulf would be my preferred choice.
To the chagrin of Some People...
but I am rooting for a storm-free year in Haiti.


You "non third world country hater" lol!

Yea, They don't need this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


The only real fluctuation is intensity. I am waiting for a Dramatic change in direction and intensification that should happen anytime. I was informed its going over western Cuba and then into the Gulf.


maybe a loop de loop then smack fla
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Quoting pottery:

You know something we dont???
Into the Gulf would be my preferred choice.
To the chagrin of Some People...
but I am rooting for a storm-free year in Haiti.


No... I was informed in no uncertain terms this morning, that is where its going.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Orcasystems:


Well since you have been to the "dark" side, you will really enjoy the West coast, I would not trade it for anywhere on earth I have been before, and I have been to a lot of places.


ROFLMAO.

One day I will drive from South Florida to Alaska. Plan on spending some time in Canada along the way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

"now you see me, now you dont, then you do again"
what's up with this Tomas?
a storm of many faces
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
Quoting Orcasystems:


The only real fluctuation is intensity. I am waiting for a Dramatic change in direction and intensification that should happen anytime. I was informed its going over western Cuba and then into the Gulf.



You know something we dont???
Into the Gulf would be my preferred choice.
To the chagrin of Some People...
but I am rooting for a storm-free year in Haiti.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm thats why they are called secrets isn't it?


I will say I have known a few people from Canada, and they were all laid back. I thought about moving there but I don't think I could handle the winters!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Orca - After visiting Canada, I would have to agree. Although I haven't been to "your" side of Canada yet. I am looking forawrd to going one day.


Well since you have been to the "dark" side, you will really enjoy the West coast, I would not trade it for anywhere on earth I have been before, and I have been to a lot of places.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Quoting Orcasystems:


The only real fluctuation is intensity. I am waiting for a Dramatic change in direction and intensification that should happen anytime. I was informed its going over western Cuba and then into the Gulf.




Holy crap a moly!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm thats why they are called secrets isn't it?


This is true!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
21L/TS/T/CX
MARK
13.55N/69.09W

"now you see me, now you dont, then you do again"
what's up with this Tomas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting doorman79:


Face it,

Ya'll are like the pastor of a church, just better at keeping secrets! ;P


Umm thats why they are called secrets isn't it?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Lots of convection down there in the good ole carribean sea shore are up over down in those parts!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

A pretty big spread of models there, but still concentrated on Haiti/DR.
Still hoping for some changes in the steering effects...


The only real fluctuation is intensity. I am waiting for a Dramatic change in direction and intensification that should happen anytime. I was informed its going over western Cuba and then into the Gulf.


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Orca - After visiting Canada, I would have to agree. Although I haven't been to "your" side of Canada yet. I am looking forawrd to going one day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Speaking of Winter, in Northern Norway, we used to see these almost every night. Thought those of you who aren't arguing might enjoy them.






Absolutely awesome. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
x
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
Cold air in the north inhibits Tomas for the moment....

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
Quoting Orcasystems:

We... always look normal... we are just a laid back group... basically harmless :)


Face it,

Ya'll are like the pastor of a church, just better at keeping secrets! ;P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TSPIN BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI

A pretty big spread of models there, but still concentrated on Haiti/DR.
Still hoping for some changes in the steering effects...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 714 - 664

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.