Haiti braces itself for Tropical Storm

The Met Office has been providing forecasts to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, charities and other National Meteorological Services to provide advice on Tropical Depression Tomas which is expected to head towards Haiti.

As early as last Thursday, the Met Office has been providing advice that showed that the storm was likely to affect Haiti, bringing the potential of strong winds and prolonged rainfall.

Alf Evans, Operations Manager at ShelterBox said: “The Met Office notified us of the possible risk to Haiti early, and we were able to start planning contingencies with our team in Haiti ahead of the game, so we are in the best position we can be.”

Tropical Storm Tomas formed in the Caribbean Sea last Friday, to become the 19th storm of the Atlantic season. It is expected to re-strengthen over the next 48 hours to become a Hurricane before crossing Haiti at the end of this week. Even as a minimal tropical storm, Tomas could still cause life-threatening floods over Haiti.

Using the Met Office Global Ensemble Prediction System (MOGREPS), the Met Office provides 15-day tropical cyclone forecasts of the most likely track of the storm and an understanding of the range of possible storm tracks. The system can also identify areas where a new storm is most likely to develop and then monitor the likely track of such storms.

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Thomas to the southwest of Haiti at 15:45 GMT on 04 Nov 2010 (Source: NOAA)

The Met Office has been supporting ShelterBox in Haiti throughout this year, providing regularly updated forecasts to them, along with other charities working in the region following the devastating earthquake at the start of the year.

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