If a storm like Tomas was as close to Panama City as it is to Port-au-Prince Haiti, there would be storm studs standing along the beach in what must be rain and some wind talking about how we’re all gonna die and stuff.
As it is, I have no idea what is going on there. Anybody know?
The serious part of the storm should be affecting land areas in Haiti some time tonight, and continue to do so through the day Friday into the evening. The winds will not be strong but if you live under a sheet of corrugated metal (meaning you’re one of the lucky ones in this earthquake-rattled region) a 55 knot wind will still blow away your house. So, given the context, even if Tomas never regains hurricane strength, it will still be destructive.
But, as you know, the rain is the real threat, as flooding and slope wash in the deforested, hilly region can be deadly.
Also, it is possible that the hurricane will spin up. There is one model which shows Tomas going from about 45 knots to 70+ knots in a very short amount of time. Other factors seem to mitigate against this actually happening however, and it is not too likely.
Jamaica is also going to get some stormy weather, as are the Bahamas. The public advisory is here.
The death toll in Haiti stands at 442 from the current cholera outbreak.
Health authorities are concerned that the situation may worsen as Tropical Storm Tomas approaches the impoverished nation, still recovering from a devastating January earthquake that killed 250,000 people and left 1 million homeless. Tomas is projected to pass over Haiti on Friday.