Tweet (11 a.m. EDT) -- Hurricane Tomas, which left a trail of destruction in its march through the Windward Islands, is moving slowly into the central Caribbean as a Category 1 storm with top winds of 90 mph. The long-range forecast track through the end of the week places the storm near Jamaica and Haiti as a major hurricane with winds exceeding 110 mph, though it's too early to tell where Tomas will end up at this point. According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. EDT update, Tomas is located about 155 miles west of St. Lucia . The storm is moving toward the west-northwest at 8 mph.
Tropical force winds extend out to 175 miles.
Tomas, the 12th hurricane of the Atlantic season, has thus far caused minimal disruption to cruise itineraries. But the islands in its path have not been as fortunate, with widespread media reports of injuries, possible fatalities, downed power lines and damage to homes on Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia.
Island correspondents on StormCarib, a Web site that relays storm information, also report significant damage, including missing roofs, unmoored boats and blocked roads.
According to an Associated Press story, officials in Haiti have placed the country under an orange storm alert, the second highest level. The country is still struggling after the devastating December earthquake (more than a million people remain in tent camps in the capital of Port-au-Prince) and is now grappling with a cholera epidemic. Meanwhile, Jamaica's prime minister is meeting with the country's emergency relief agencies, says the Jamaican Observer.
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
Tropical storm warnings continue for St. Vincent, Martinique , Dominica and St. Lucia, which means that tropical storm conditions are ongoing.
Warnings are expected to be dropped by late Sunday, however.
Tomas is expected to be well into the central Caribbean by Monday morning.
--by John Deiner, Managing Editor
Tomas Moves Into Caribbean, May Head Toward Haiti and Jamaica
October 31, 2010