So far it has caused minimal disruption to cruise itineraries. Tomas formed southeast of Barbados on Friday and is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane by the end of the week.
According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. EDT update, Tomas is located about 35 miles northeast of St. Lucia . Maximum sustained winds are 75 mph; the storm is moving toward the west-northwest at 10 mph.
Tomas, with tropical force winds extending out to 175 miles, has reportedly caused downed power lines and damage to homes on Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia.
The upgrade of Tomas on Saturday morning means it becomes the 12th hurricane of the busy 2010 Atlantic season.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
Carnival Miracle, which was scheduled to dock in St. Lucia on Saturday and St. Kitts on Sunday, instead is spending the weekend at sea. To compensate, it will stop in Grand Turk on Monday and Nassau on Tuesday.
We'll keep you posted on any other changes.
Weather Outlook: Possible Affected Ships & Ports
Hurricane warnings continue for St. Vincent, Martinique and St. Lucia, which means that hurricane conditions are expected soon or ongoing. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Dominica, which means tropical storm conditions are expected within the same time frame.
The center of Tomas is expected to pass into the eastern Caribbean Saturday evening.
--by John Deiner, Managing Editor