Tropical Storm Tomas Has Forecasters Guessing
Forecasters struggled to project the path of Tropical Storm Tomas yesterday as the weather system slowly meandered across the region, heading towards Jamaica and Haiti, which have both been placed on hurricane watch.
However, the forecasters all agree that Tomas should reach hurricane strength today and that it should bring strong winds and heavy rains to the two nations.
Late yesterday, the Meteorological Service issued the hurricane watch for the island indicating that Jamaica could start seeing hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
The Met Service said that at 4 p.m. yesterday, the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was about 520km (320 miles) south-southeast of Morant Point.
At that time, Tomas was continuing its move towards the west at near 22 kilometres, or 14 miles, per hour (mph).
Maximum sustained winds were near 65km/h (40 mph), with higher gusts.
In its update, the United States National Hurricane Center reported that Tomas was moving a little slower than before and was expected to turn northward and northeastward in the next 48 hours.
According to the National Hurricane Center, there was a large disagreement about the position of Tomas in the next four to five days.
Hurricane expert Dr Jeff Masters, writing in his blog on Weather Underground, argued that there was a substantial danger that Tomas would undergo a period of rapid intensification once it rebuilds its inner core and establishes an eyewall.
“The most reasonable intensity forecast at this point is to call for a landfall on Friday at Category 2 strength, but Tomas could easily be anywhere from Category 1 to Category 3 hurricane strength on Friday,” said Masters.hurricanes, jamaica