Recently in Yard Weather Category
The Tropical Storm Warning for Jamaica has been lifted according to a bulletin from the US based National Hurricane Centre.
Jamaica has been under a Tropical Storm Warning since Thursday after Hurricane Tomas threatened to dump rains on the island and add to the misery of Tropical Storm Nicole which had left many parts of the island flooded.
The National Hurricane Centre said that the centre of Hurricane Tomas was passing between Haiti and Southeastern Cuba.
Yesterday forecasters, including the local Met Service, warned that flash-flooding was possible in areas of mainly eastern parishes.
Above-average wave heights were also reported over coastal areas of north-eastern parishes yesterday.
That caused local disaster preparedness experts to remain on full alert last night with an appeal to Jamaicans not to let down their guard.
Jamaica remains under a tropical Storm Warning even as Tomas, which has been upgraded to a Category One Hurricane, continues to move away from the island.
This means that tropical storm conditions, including possible gusty winds are expected within three to six hours.
In the latest bulletin from the Meteorological Service, issued at 4:00 a.m., Hurricane Tomas was about 150 kilometres or 90 miles south of Morant Point, Jamaica or 280 kilometres or 175 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Tomas is moving towards the northeast near 15 kilometres per hour or 9 miles per hour and this general motion, with a further increase in forward speed, is expected over the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, the centre of Tomas will continue moving away from Jamaica and near southwestern Haiti Friday morning, before passing near extreme eastern Cuba Friday evening.
Maximum sustained winds of near 85 kilometres per hour or 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts are expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 kilometres per hour or 80 miles per hour, with higher gusts, making Tomas a Category One hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Additional strengthening is possible before Tomas again begins to weaken on Saturday.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 kilometres or 18 miles from the centre, and tropical storm force winds extend outward as far as 220 kilometres/140 miles.
Jamaica could still, therefore, come under the influence of tropical storm force winds over sections of eastern parishes Friday morning.
Satellite imagery and radar reports indicate that the heavy showers and thunderstorms associated with Tomas continue to skirt the eastern tip of Jamaica; however, scattered showers are being detected over sections of central and western parishes.
These will rapidly decrease as drier air moves into the area behind Hurricane Tomas.
Small craft operators are reminded to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.
A Hurricane Watch has now been issued for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Tomas continues to gain strength.
A Hurricane Watch means that within the next 48 hours Jamaica should start seeing hurricane conditions.
Tomas is now located near latitude 13.5 north and longitude 74.6 west.
It’s moving toward the west near 14 mph or 22 km/hr.
The National Hurricane Centre says a turn toward the west-northwest and northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph or 65 km/hr with higher gusts and strengthening is forecast and Tomas could regain hurricane strength by Thursday.
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.
Hurricane Tomas has weakened from a Category Two to a Category One storm.
It was located near latitude 14.4 degrees north and longitude 64.9 degrees west or about 465 kilometres south southeast of San Juan Puerto Rico or about 425 kilometres west of St. Lucia yesterday evening.
It is moving toward the west near 19 kilometres per hour.
This general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.
In its latest update, the Met Office said maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 120 kilometres an hour with higher gusts.
The Met Office forecast that Tomas could weaken into a Tropical Storm over the next 24 hours followed by little change in strength Monday night and Tuesday.
However, the Met Office warned that Hurricane Tomas still has the potential to become a significant threat to weather conditions over Jamaica and its territorial waters over the next few days.
At the same time, the Met Office has advised fishers on the cays and banks to complete their preparations and be on alert to evacuate.
Tropical Storm Tomas is now a Hurricane, and Jamaicans are being urged to heighten their level of alert.
Hurricane Tomas, a Category One Storm, is the 12th system of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Tomas is moving towards the west northwest at about 24 kilometres per hour and is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour.
The centre of Hurricane Tomas will pass near St. Lucia and St. Vincent Saturday afternoon and enter the eastern Caribbean Sea by Saturday night.
Tomas is forecast to strengthen over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is closely monitoring the movement of Hurricane Tomas.