United States Marines are standing by off the coast of Haiti, gearing up to bring relief supplies after Hurricane Tomas passes.
Driving winds and storm surges are battering the island nation’s southern peninsula.
Hurricane Tomas is passing between southwestern Haiti and Southeastern Cuba at this time. Hurricane Tomas is moving towards the north-northeast at 12 mph and is expected to maintain that track for the next couple of days, and we should see a steady increase in forward speed as Tomas makes his way into the southeastern Bahamas.
The National Hurricane Center has reported the maximum sustained winds in Hurricane Tomas are 85 mph, making Tomas a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Tomas finds himself in a very good environment for the next 24 hours with low shear and high water temperatures. Tomas could strengthen some more over the next day, but after that Hurricane Tomas will be in an environment of high wind shear and cooler water temperatures and we should see a steady decrease in strength starting Saturday.
Computer models are in good agreement with the future track and intensity of Tomas over the next 3 days. Hurricane Tomas should still be a hurricane east of the Bahamas by Sunday. Regardless of path and strength this system will bring very heavy rains and strong winds to the already ravaged country of Haiti. They can expect life-threatening flash floods and mudslides for the next couple of days. The water system in Haiti is already contaminated with cholera, and heavy rains will only make matters worse.