Hurricane Tomas Spotted Moving Through Windward Strait

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra Satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Tomas over Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic at 15:30 UTC (11:30 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 5. (Image credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team)

The center of Hurricane Tomas was moving through the Windward Passage today (Nov. 5) at 2 p.m. ET, and NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of the rainmaker.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, the Windward Passage is a strait located between eastern Cuba and the northwest of Haiti.

In satellite imagery, Tomas' convection (rapidly rising air that forms the thunderstorms that power the tropical cyclone) was described by the National Hurricane Center as "looking a little ragged" hinting that they are weaker and possibly more disorganized, due to the interaction with the mountains of Hispaniola, the island that is home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

At 2 p.m. ET, Tomas's center was 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, and 140 miles (225 km) northwest of Port Au Prince, Haiti's capital.

Tomas' maximum sustained winds were still near 85 mph, and some strengthening is still possible today, but wind shear is expected to weaken Tomas thereafter.

The rains from Tomas lashing Haiti could increase the chances of dangerous landslides occurring in the country, which already has destabilized soils from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in January.

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