The center of Tropical Storm Tomas is centered around 125 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. The above satellite image shows this center somewhat exposed and on the western edge of the heaviest thunderstorm activity. The NHC is still forecasting Tomas to strengthen as the center heads in the general direction of the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti. The NHC has consistently been saying “Regardless of the exact track and intensity of Tomas, the most significant threat of this tropical cyclone is heavy rainfall, which could produce flash flooding and life-threatening mud slides over Haiti and the Dominican Republic over the next couple of days.”
The above figure shows some of the recent loss of life in Haiti due to tropical cyclones. It should be noted that the two largest death totals, over 3000 in 2004 and over 1100 in 1994, were the result of Tropical Storms at their closest point of approach to Haiti. It will not take a hurricane or a direct hit to result in loss of life in Haiti given current conditions in that country.