The envelope of soon to be Hurricane Tomas is HUGE! I know Joe Bastardi compared the size of Tomas this morning to the envelope of Hurricane Gilbert (pre development) as it entered the Caribbean back in September of 1988... Also, I was shocked at how long it took Tomas to get named! I personally feel it was a tropical storm late last night/early this morning, and you kinda saw that with the NHC going from a high risk for development, to a 40mph tropical storm, to a 60mph tropical storm so quickly!
Tropical Storm Tomas is most likely going to become a large and powerful hurricane! The NHC has Tomas becoming a major hurricane by 8pm Sunday, and I agree 100%... The overall environment is becoming primed for fairly rapid development, even considering that it is late October! I'm REALLY tempted to chase Tomas in Jamaica! It is forecasted to be near Jamaica in about 5 days, but it's still way to far out to make any firm decisions! I will say I have been told my a few fellow chasers that Jamaica is not the place you want to be during a hurricane, so of course I'll keep their advice in mind... I may roll the dice though, but again I have plenty of time to make a decision... It will really depend on how close Tomas gets to Jamaica, and whether it will be a daytime landfall... Not going to spend a lot of money on a night chase if I can help it!
Beyond 5 days, the forecast is tough! It really is going to depend on how/if Tomas phases with a strong trough digging across the US later next week... If Tomas can move far enough west, there is a chance it could impact the US... Even if Tomas phases with the tough and becomes extra-tropical, this would be one heck of a storm for the eastern seaboard! Of course it could just as easily move more north/east, phasing with the trough well off the eastern seaboard... It's just too early to say much! If you live in the Windward Islands/Caribbean, I would watch Tomas VERY CLOSEY! This is not going to be a storm to mess with! Currently, the center has reformed north, but I expect the westward motion to continue overall... Subtle shifts like this can/do make a difference in the long rang track! I'll be watching soon to be Hurricane Tomas very closely, as you can expect many more updates this weekend!
Hurricane Watches in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, & Martinique!
This visible image was saved 4 hours before Tomas was even named! Crazy???