The hard hitting Hurricane Tomas is now stronger as it makes its closest pass by Haiti and Cuba. Winds are up to 85 mph with hurricane force winds reach 30 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds extend 140 miles away.
The storm is expected to strengthen a little more today as the center will remain over water as it passes between Haiti and Cuba. There may be an eye developing as well, which could be evident on satellite images this afternoon.
Storm surge for Haiti is forecast to be 1-3 feet above normal tide levels. For Cuba, it will be between 3-5 feet above normal.
Rainfall will average 5-10 inches, with up to 15 in the higher mountains. This will lead to mudlsides and flooding. For earthquake ravaged Haiti already dealing with a Cholera outbreak, this will be a devastating event.
National Hurricane Center update
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 80 MI…130 KM SSE OF GUANTANAMO CUBA
ABOUT 160 MI…255 KM W OF PORT AU PRINCE HAITI
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…85 MPH…135 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…16 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…987 MB…29.15 INCHES
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
* THE CUBAN PROVINCE OF GUANTANAMO
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA AND HOLGUIN
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE SOUTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM THE HAITI
BORDER EASTWARD TO BARAHONA
* 2010 Hurricane Season: Atlantic Names
* 2010 NOAA Hurricane season outlook graphics
* 2010 Hurricane Season: NOAA forecast for a very active year
* 2010 Hurricane Season: Accuweather calls for active year and major landfalls
* Hurricane Season 2010 forecast video: Chimp takes on NOAA
* Interactive Hurricane Tracker
Climatology: Atlantic Hurricane Climate: Storm points of origin maps all season The database for developing tropical storms for the Atlantic goes back to 1851, while the eastern Pacific dates back to 1949.
Hurricane Awareness Week Links
* Hurricane Awareness Week: History of storms 1900-1979
* Hurricane Awareness Week: History of Atlantic storms 1980-2005
* Hurricane Awareness Week: Inland Flooding
* What is Storm Surge?