Tomas perks up; Haiti warned
As predicted, Tomas is a tropical storm again, with top sustained winds of 45 mph. For a time earlier today, its disorganization caused some weakening, and it was demoted to a tropical depression. But the storm has revived this afternoon, and a tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch have been issued for Haiti.
More than a million Haitians displaced by January's earthquake remain vulnerable to the elements under tents and tarps in crowded displacement camps.
Tropical Storm Watches are also up now for eastern Cuba, including Guantanamo Bay, the south coast of the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the southeastern Bahamas.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say Tomas was located 300 miles south southwest of Port au Prince, moving to the north northwest at 6 mph. It is expected to continue a turn to the northeast, passing over Haiti as a tropical storm on Friday. The Hurricane Center said:
"REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 45 MPH...75
KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND TOMAS COULD BE APPROACHING HURRICANE
STRENGTH AS THE CENTER NEARS HAITI."
Here is the latest advisory on Tomas. Here is the forecast track. And here is the view from orbit.
(PHOTO: AFP Getty Images, Thony Belizaire)