Tropical Storm Tomas strengthens

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It could be a rainy weekend for Jamaicans if Tropical Storm Tomas continues on the course it is on. Let us also pray for our sister island Haiti that it weakens and fizzle out.

Storm tracking has show that tomas has started to strengthen over the south-central Caribbean Sea as it continues on its westward track.

At four o'clock Tuesday morning, the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was located near Latitude 13.5 degrees North, Longitude 72.0 degrees West; about 670 kilometres or 415 miles southeast of Morant Point or 570 kilometres or 355 miles south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Tomas is moving towards the west near 19 kilometres per hour or 12 miles per hour and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 kilometres per hour or 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 kilometres or 115 miles from the centre.

Satellite imagery indicates that there has been an increase in heavy rainfall around the centre of Tomas, indicating that conditions are becoming more favourable for the tropical storm’s development.

The current projection is for Tomas to gradually strengthen into a hurricane over the next couple of days while gradually turning towards the west-northwest and then northwest.

The system is then expected to begin moving towards Haiti by Thursday passing over the waters east of Jamaica on Friday.

There is a five to 10% chance that eastern sections of Jamaica could experience hurricane force winds as Tomas passes by.

Bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms could also start affecting the island by Friday morning.

Above-normal wave heights should also be expected over coastal areas of northern and southeastern parishes.

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