Despite the fact that storm Tomas has cleared the Southern Caribbean I would like to offer a quick update. This is a wicked storm with a strange pattern. Almost all models predicted a different path Tomas is taking right now. The storm is categorized as a tropical storm with sustained winds of up to 60 mph, moving slowly at a speed of 8 mph. It’s expected to gain strength in the following days and become a hurricane. It’s currently somewhere between Jamaica and Haiti.
According to the experts when a territory is on the left side of a storm the effects are much smaller than when located on the right side. Currently storm warnings have been issued. Hurricane warnings are in effect for Haiti, southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cuba (Province of Guantanamo). Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Jamaica and Cuba (Provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin).
Storm Tomas eying Turks and Caicos among others [image Stormpulse]
Remember to follow instructions from your local closely and evacuate when instructed. We wish our fellow islanders all the best for the coming days. Keep monitoring this weather system closely as it tends to change rapidly.
Storm Tomas passed near Aruba last night at a distance of 65 miles away at a speed of 14 mph with wind speed up to 45 mph. As expected this storm didn’t bring much rain in the last 48 hours. As a precautionary measure classes at all public schools were suspended; this was announced early this morning by Aruba’s Prime Minister.
The reason for caution was due to the non-stop rain in our neighboring island Curacao (44 miles away) which resulted in two fatalities. Now Tomas can be labelled “killer storm” unfortunately. There was fear that this weather system could move over to Aruba, but didn’t happen. This morning it rained but for a very short time and the rest of the day relatively dry.
Storm Tomas is expected to gain in strength (click on image to enlarge) [image Stormpulse]
Right now Tomas is headed towards Haiti and could gain in strength. Expect Tomas to become a category 1 and 2 hurricane. I really wish that country well. Meanwhile in Aruba expect some isolated rain showers. This system has moved on beyond Aruba which means this is the final update on Hurricane Tomas on this website. Thanks to the thousands of extra visitors I’ve received as a result of this storm.
The latest information I have on Storm Tomas is that it’s now at a distance of about 100 miles (160 km) from Aruba. Over the weekend is has weakened and downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm with sustained speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph). Remember Aruba has an average wind of 20 mph, with sometimes wind gusts of up to 35 mph. Later today this storm is expected to pass at a distance of 80 or 90 miles away. According to most reports and models this storm is headed for Haiti.
Today I was surprised by the massive waves I saw, reminds me six years ago when hurricane Ivan passed a similar route. Ivan was much bigger then and was in the process of becoming a a category 5 hurricane at that time. This time this storm is much smaller and less organized. What concerns me a little is that the movement right now is west-southwest at a speed of 14 mph (23 kph), meaning it’s creeping closer to Aruba.
Big waves pounding the coastline
Local weather authorities warned we can expect storms later today, also isolated thunder showers. Currently (mid-afternoon) it’s raining some, it’s not storming. Remember to follow advisories from your local authorities. This site it intended to maintain you informed of what’s happening on the ground and not to be the official weather advisory. Follow the experts at National Hurricane Center in Miami. If you would like to stay up to date from me on the fly (via my mobile phone) visit twitter.com/arubabeaches.
Natural Bridge pounded today
By the old-Natural Bridge there is water just like before
Waves at the north coast
Waves and more waves today
Water washed on the rugged coast
This morning Tropical Storm Tomas has been upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane. This means that this storm has wind speeds of up to 85 mph. Currently at a distance of around 700 miles away from Aruba.
The path of Hurricane Tomas is moving further away from the route to Aruba. I’ve followed this system since it started a few days ago and it has shown a typical north western pattern. I don’t expect this storm to bring major winds other than thunder storms on Monday. Currently the center of the storm is hovering near St. Vincent and St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean. It seems that Jamaica is still the target for a Category 3 of 4 hurricane next week.
Hurricane Tomas not near Aruba [Image Stormpulse]
Local officials have been tracking this storm since the start as well and are considering whether or not warnings need to be issued. I don’t think warnings are necessary at this point. By early Monday morning it is expected to be the closest to this island, around 230 miles north east of Aruba. For updates on the ground follow my Twitter feed at twitter.com/arubabeaches.
Update: Local officials have just announced they are not going to issue any warnings as they consider this hurricane not to form a direct thread to the island.
Storm Tomas has been upgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to become a Category 1 Hurricane early Sunday morning. The island governments of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia have begun issuing storm warnings for their territories.
The preliminary paths suggested a more southern route of this storm, thus threatening Aruba among other territories, however, the storm started to shift to a more north western pattern. According to current calculations the center of the storm might pass as a Category 1 Hurricane north of Aruba at a distance of about 180 miles.
Projected path according to National Hurricane Center [image by Stormpulse]
We will remain vigilant to this storm as it moves ahead in the southern Caribbean. Remember to follow advisories of authorities in your country. Meanwhile if you want to be kept updated on what’s happening on the ground in Aruba follow my Twitter feed at twitter.com/arubabeaches.
Projected path according to computer models [image by Stormpulse]
Update: Path Hurricane Tomas Moves Away From Aruba
My daily routine takes me to all the websites about weather and storms and noticed a weather disturbance near the coastline of South America. Currently it is about 1200 miles away from Aruba. According to National Hurricane Center it has 80% chance of becoming the next named storm, which is going to be Tomas.
The image below depicts the different paths in different colors according to various computer models. If you look closely there is a consensus between the majority of models that forecast the path near Aruba.
The lines show potential paths of the storm according to various computer models [image by Stormpulse]
I will keep an eye on this storm for sure. The weather forecast for next week is rain, put that in your agenda. Below image shows the same map without all the forecast models. If you want to be kept up to date on the fly don’t forget to follow my Twitter feed at twitter.com/arubabeaches.
Tomas is about 1200 miles away [image by Stormpulse]
Update: Storm Tomas Moving North West
September turned out to be a very wet month. In fact some record must have been broken. According to the local weather service Aruba received five times the amount of rain it normally gets average in September. I don’t have the exact figures yet.
As a result the typical low laying areas went under water again. I noticed that this time around the water receded quicker compared to the recent past. It seems that the efforts by the government to install new higher capacity drainage helped some. Also they worked hard to keep the natural channels clean of debris.
Pouring rain in Oranjestad
It wasn’t only wet also the sea currents changed completely. The sea on the north side was calm while the typical calm Palm Beach and Eagle Beach were clobbered by big waves. Our average trade winds of 20 miles per hours were at zero and the humidity was unbearable. It was unstable for weeks. Crazy weather, cranky tourists.
Floods near Eagle Beach
Floods in Aruba
Rain in Oranjestad
Pouring rain in Oranjestad
Pouring rain in Main Street
Main roads to hotels