Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect – Tomas continues toward Jamaica’s east end


A TROPICAL STORM WARNING remains in effect for Jamaica as the centre of Tomas starts to move towards the north, closer to the eastern end of the island. This means that tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained wind speeds of 34-63 knots or 63-117 km/h, are expected in 36 hours or less.
At 10:00 a.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was located near Latitude 16.3 degrees North, Longitude 76.1 degrees West; about 170 km (105 miles) south of Morant Point, Jamaica or 475 km (295 miles) west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Tomas is moving towards the north near 13 km/h (8 mph) and a gradual turn towards the northeast, with an increase in forward speed, is expected today. On the forecast track, the centre of Tomas is, therefore, forecast to pass near to the east end of Jamaica this evening, and continue towards western Haiti/eastern Cuba tonight.
Maximum sustained winds are near 85 km/h (50 mph), with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24-36 hours. Tropical storm force winds now extend outward up to 140 km (85 miles) from the centre and are expected to impact sections of Jamaica’s eastern parishes by this afternoon.
Reports from Doppler radar and automatic weather stations indicate that moderate showers associated with Tomas have started to affect sections of St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine. Winds gusting to 56 km/h (35 mph) have also been detected in Morant Point, St. Thomas.
Rainfall accumulations of near 75 millimetres (3 inches) are possible over the island, increasing the likelihood of flash flooding in flood-prone areas today. The chance of eastern parishes experiencing storm-force winds has increased to about 60% during the passage of Tomas. Above-average wave heights should 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.

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