November 1, 2010

Tomas Weakens; Will Be More Dangerous Later This Week

Tomas is weakening, but there is growing concern that the now tropical storm will regain strength and target Haiti later this week.

Tomas tore through the Windward Islands on Saturday, strengthening in the process and leaving a trail of damage.

Tomas was a Category 2 hurricane as it battered the Windward Islands Saturday night.
Disruptive wind shear (strong wind shear high in the atmosphere) has since caused Tomas to weaken into a tropical storm.

The wind shear is also causing rain squalls associated with Tomas to stream eastward over the Lesser Antilles, hampering cleanup efforts in Tomas' wake.

The disruptive wind shear will lessen at midweek, opening the door for Tomas to strengthen into a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

Later in the week, there is growing concern that Tomas will deviate off its westward track and target Hispaniola (the island that Haiti and the Dominican Republic call home).

Tomas may even take aim at Hispaniola after first bypassing the island to the south.

Tomas will be forced to curve towards Haiti by the jet stream, which is expected to sink southward and usher a reinforcing shot of chilly air across the East later in the week.

Another scenario is that Tomas makes that curve, but targets Jamaica or Cuba.

The hurricane would take a track towards Central America if it misses the connection with the jet stream; however, this solution is becoming less likely.

By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist -

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