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Hurricane Tomas’s pathway of destruction

Hurricane Tomas’s pathway of destruction

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Hurricane Tomas, which hovered for over eight hours over St. Vincent and the Grenadines, unleashing fury and destruction, began life last week as Invest91, an area of disturbed weather to the southeast of the eastern Caribbean.{{more}}

At 5 pm on October 29, the weather system was designated Tropical Storm Tomas, then was upgraded to Hurricane status at 11am on 30 October.

After a sharp northward tack during the night of October 29, Tomas tracked directly over Barbados as an intense Tropical Storm during the early morning hours, the large eye structure passing right over Barbados at around 4.30 am local time.

Tomas then tracked westwards, reaching Category 1 Hurricane status just west of Barbados and passing between Saint Lucia and St Vincent at around 4 pm local time. The southern part of St Lucia was within the strongest, northern eyewall of Tomas, while the northern parts of St Vincent received the southern and leading/trailing eyewalls.

The eastern outer bands of Tomas cleared the Windward Islands early on October 31, although heavy rain showers persisted.

For Barbados, the entire island was affected by severe Tropical Storm force winds, with gusts to Hurricane force. Due to the track of Tomas directly over the island, these winds persisted at a high level for a relatively long time. Storm surge and wave action was also significant.

Hurricane force winds affected the southernmost part of Saint Lucia as well as the northern and eastern areas of St Vincent. The southwestern parts of St Vincent avoided hurricane force winds due to the protective effect of the interior mountains. The Grenadines received Tropical Storm force winds, high in the north, minimal towards the south of the chain. Again, storm surge and wave action were significant, and of particular note is likely high wave action on the leeward coast of St Vincent, which received very rare onshore westerly winds as the storm passed to the north.