By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 29 — Tropical Storm Tomas quickly formed on Friday just outside the southeastern Caribbean and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami show it posing a potential threat to several Caribbean countries including Jamaica, Haiti, Gran Cayman and Cuba by the middle/end of next week.
The NHC has already called a tropical storm warning for the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean. It predicts that conditions in the Caribbean will allow Tomas to reach Hurricane strength by Sunday and become a major hurricane by Tuesday as it approaches Jamaica.
The projected path of Tomas -the 19th tropical storm of the season- will have Cuban Civil Defense authorities paying close attention to its movement through the Caribbean.
At 6:00 p.m. EST, Cuba’s Meteorological Institute (INSMET) pegged TS Tomas at 290 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of Barbados. The storm packs 65 kph (45 mph) winds and has a minimum central pressure of 998 millibars. It is moving west, west-northwest at 28 kph (18 mph).
The Cuban weather experts say TS Tomas “will continue to gain in organization and intensity during the next 24-48 hours.” The next advisory from INSMET is do at 12 midnight EST.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Shary is currently approaching the Bermuda Islands on Friday and then will head northeast into the open Atlantic. It is not expected to reach hurricane strength and poses no threat to the Caribbean or the United States