The Meteorological Service reported at 8 p.m. Thursday that Tropical Storm Tomas seemed to be getting better organised, as it moved towards the east coast of Jamaica.
National Hurricane Center imagery.
Bulletin # 27 from the Service said that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 95 km/h (60 mph.
The full text of Bulletin # 27 read:
“A TROPICAL STORM WARNING remains in effect as Tomas seems to be getting better organized while moving towards eastern Jamaica. This means that tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained wind speeds of 34-63 knots or 63-117 km/h (39-73 mph) are expected, in this case within 12-18 hours.
“At 7 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was located near Latitude 16.9 degrees North, Longitude 75.9 degrees West; about 110 km (65 miles) south-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica or 425 km (265 miles) west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
“Tomas is moving towards the north-northeast near 13 km/h (8 mph) and a gradual turn towards the northeast, with an increase in forward speed, is expected over the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the centre of Tomas is, therefore, forecast to pass near to the east end of Jamaica tonight (Thursday), and continue towards western Haiti and eastern Cuba by early Friday.
“Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 95 km/h (60 mph), with higher gusts. Further strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Tomas could become a hurricane early tomorrow. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 195 km (120 miles), mainly northeast through southeast of the centre and eastern parishes are likely to be impacted later tonight.
“Moderate showers associated with Tomas continue to affect sections of St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas and flash-flooding is possible in flood-prone areas of mainly eastern parishes tonight as Tomas makes its way past Jamaica. Above-average wave heights are also be expected over coastal areas of northeastern parishes.
Small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, are reminded to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.
The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system, and all interests should pay special attention to further releases.”