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(8 a.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Tomas -- the 19th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season -- continues to push its way through the Windward Islands, though 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 8 a.m. EDT update, Tomas is located about 70 miles southeast of St. Lucia . Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph, just shy of hurricane strength. The storm is moving toward the west-northwest at 15 mph.
Tomas, with tropical force winds extending out to 140 miles, has reportedly caused downed power lines and damage to homes on Barbados. Should Tomas become a hurricane, which is anticipated to occur sometime Saturday, it will be the 12th hurricane of the busy 2010 Atlantic season.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
Though no ship itinerary changes have been officially announced, CruiseCal.com, which publishes port schedules, indicates that Carnival Miracle, which was scheduled to dock in St. Lucia on Saturday, will now spend the day in St. Kitts. The ship will spend Sunday at sea.
Weather Outlook: Possible Affected Ships & Ports
Hurricane warnings have been issued for Barbados, St. Vincent, Martinique and St. Lucia, which means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 12 hours. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica, which means tropical storm conditions are expected within the same time frame.
The center of Tomas is expected to pass through the central Windward Islands by Saturday evening and into the eastern Caribbean.
On Saturday, Norwegian Star is due in Dominica.
--by John Deiner, Managing Editor
Tomas Continues Charge Through Windwards; Cruise Effects Minimal