30TH October 2010
– Tropical Disturbance 67 which developed a few hundred miles of east of
Trinidad has now been upgraded to Tropical Storm Tomas. At 5AM Martinique
radar indicates that Barbados is in the northern portions of the eye. Tropical
Storm Tomas is centered near 12.9N and 59.5W. This places the center near
Barbados. Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph. Movement is to the west-northwest
at 15 mph. Tropical Storm force winds extend outwards to 140mph. Squalls will soon
spread over other Windward Islands, including St. Lucia.
Tomas should continue
on a west-northwest track for the next 72 hours. Tomas is currently passing by
Barbados and is expected to strike St. Vincent and southern St. Lucia late this
morning or early this afternoon and then move into the Caribbean, in the
general direction of Hispaniola. As the storm nears Hispaniola, a significant
slowing of the forward speed is expected, with a turn to the north. Landfall is
forecast around port Au Prince, Haiti Thursday morning.
Tomas is expected to
reach hurricane intensity this afternoon, as it is moving over St. Vincent and
St. Lucia. However, environmental conditions are not as favorable for continued
development as previously thought. Mid level wind shear is expected to keep the
system as a category 1 hurricane through 72 hours. However, as the storm nears
Haiti, conditions are expected to become more favorable and significant
development is expected. Tomas is still forecast to strike southeast Haiti as a
borderline category 3/4 hurricane with 130 mph sustained winds. The confidence
in the intensity forecast also remains average.
Barbados is currently
in the eye. The worst of the weather will occur during the next few hours, as
the back half of the storm moves across the island. Heavy squalls are expected
in the other Windward Islands within the next few hours. The worst of the
weather is expected after the passage of the center. 5-8 inches of rain, with
isolated 12 inch totals in areas with mountains are likely. This is expected to
cause flooding and mudslides. In addition, wind gusts up to 90 mph are possible
in coastal areas, with 100 mph gusts possible in the mountains. Tidal surge
heights of 1-3 feet are expected.
At present the Tropical Storm is not a threat to the Virgin Islands however
due to the uncertainty of the track as the system gets closer; Residents are
urged to monitor the system and be prepared to secure life and property in the
event Tomas poses a threat to the area. The Department of Disaster Management
will continue to monitor the system and provide updates when necessary. Please
visit the Department’s website at bviddm.com for further information.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological
Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a
number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such
information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has
interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI
Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information
appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result
in the loss of finances, property or life.