Hurricane Tomas Strengthens After Marching Through Cruise Ports

October 30, 2010
(11 p.m. EDT) -- Hurricane Tomas, which has now pushed through the Windward Islands and entered the eastern Caribbean, continues to strengthen. A Category 1 hurricane and the 19th named storm of the Alantic hurricane season, Tomas is sporting top winds of 90 mph and has left a trail of destruction on several islands. So far it has caused minimal disruption to cruise itineraries. Tomas, the 12th hurricane of the busy Atlantic season, formed southeast of Barbados on Friday and is forecast to become a major hurricane by the end of the week. According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. EDT update, Tomas is located about 65 miles west-northwest of St. Lucia. The storm is moving toward the west-northwest at 9 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. Reports from island correspondents on StormCarib, a Web site that relays storm information, indicate significant damage, including missing roofs, unmoored boats and blocked roads. 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.

Tomas is expected to be well west of the Windwards by Sunday afternoon.

--by John Deiner, Managing Editor