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November 1, 2010

Tomas weakens, but still a threat to Haiti

Tomas, weakened from its former Cat. 2 hurricane strength to a minimal tropical storm, is still expected to regain some of that strength and turn toward Haiti as a Cat. 1 hurricane by Friday Tomasmorning.

The island nation has been advised to monitor the storm. And UN officials said more than a million Haitians are still living under tents and tarpaulins. A half-hour storm in September killed six people, injured 70 and damaged or destroyed the flimsy homes of 10,000 families, according to a wire service report.  Evacuation of the vulnerable quake-refugee camps has been deemed impossible.

The National Hurricane Center said this morning that Tomas was about 420 miles southeast of Port au Prince, Haiti, in the eastern Caribbean Sea, moving to the west southwest at 14 mph. The storm's top sustained winds were just 45 mph.

But forecasters said re-strengthening could begin late on Tuesday, and a turn to the north could come by Thursday as the storm encounters a low-pressure system in the northwest Caribbean. Forecasters estimate a 36 percent chance that Port au Prince will see tropical-storm-force winds within five days.

High winds and heavy rains could be devastating for Haiti's people, many of whom have been living in makeshift shelters since last January's earthquake, Some are also coping with an outbreak of water-borne disease, including cholera.

Here is the latest advisory on Tomas. Here is the forecast storm track. Here is the view from orbit.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:32 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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