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02 November 2010

Tomas shifts its approach on Haiti

Tomas continues to reorganize after dry air and shear threatened to rip the storm apart. Top wind speeds remain lower than they were 48 hours ago, and are currently at 45 mph or 75 km/h. Even though this is the second day in a row where the storm had lower wind speeds, Tomas has potential to regain strength. The system now has a lot more moisture available and the amount of shear it is contending with has reduced. Tomas continues to be forecasted to make landfall on Haiti, however, it now appears to be changing the way it will strike the country. Current forecasts now show an approach from the southwest, crossing the southern peninsula and making a second landfall in Artibonite. It is also possible that the island to the east of the Haitian mainland, Gonâve Island, may also contend with a direct landfall. Hurricane force winds are still likely as Tomas moves over Haiti.

Further complicating matters is that storms path is directed at the areas still trying to manage the cholera outbreak. The dark red circles on the above map represent where Health Map is currently showing cholera outbreaks. Because cholera is a water-based disease, heavy rainfall and likely flooding, will increase the ability of the infection to spread.

If the current forecast has the correct time for landfall, Tomas will arrive late in the day, or early evening, on Friday, in Sud, Haiti.  Second and third landfalls, at Gonâve Island and Artibonite, Haiti would occur within six hours of the initial landfall.

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