Haiti could kill EMILY's strength, but many in camps will still have a sleepless night
August 3, 2011
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Haiti could kill EMILY's strength, but many in camps will still have a sleepless night

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HaitiAction.net - Port au Prince, Haiti —Tropical storm EMILY is very close to Hurricane intensity as it scrapes the southern edge of the Dominican Republic. In the past, stronger storms have hesitated to take on the foreboding island. For the country of Haiti the recent political storm may weigh heavier than this budding tropical cyclone.

If you had to sleep in Chan Mas, the square in front of the collapsed National Palace of Haiti, it wouldn't matter much to you tonight that the stormy weather is a weaker version of what could have hit the beleaguered nation. That it was likely that the high mountains that surround and protect the Capitol of Port au Prince from most tropical cyclones was tearing apart the convection of this storm system, would not provide much consolation as you scrambled all night to keep what was left of your post-quake "life-style" intact. What might ease your mind a little is the amusing thought that the President might, finally change his shirt…


There is a very small chance that the mid-level ridge and steering currents to the north will spare Haiti from a direct hit by the weakened storm; even then, Les Cayes, the southern mountains and the Western tip will likely still see deadly flash floods and mudslides fro the storm. How many will perish in that "squall" overnight will take several days to discover. The forecast consensus has the eye of this storm traveling over the Central Plateau overnight and possibly dissipating soon after as it struggles through significant wind shear, dry air and the high mountains of Haiti.

There's a smaller chance that EMILY will show some independence and seek out more favorable conditions below 15.5º N and begin wandering south in the next few hours. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami has given EMILY a bearing of West @ 280º and 14mph. The intensity of the tropical cyclone is 50 mph @ 1003 mb. Almost all forecasts have had the storm turning to the North more than 10º over the last 24 hours but EMILY has maintained a wbN heading of 275º over the same period.

A few degrees doesn't make a big diff when you're looking at a screen from the comfort — and agenda — of Miami, but a few degrees, right now, could make a big difference to the Haitians from Leogoane to Hinche. If the storm does wander south in the next few hours and crosses below 16º N it will change all of the forecast tracks and Jamaica should issue a storm watch as it heads further west. If that happens there is also a high likelihood that EMILY will reach Hurricane strength Category 2 overnight.

Unfortunately, Haiti's senators couldn't vote to turn back Tropical Storm EMILY like they did the Coup Government's Eskòt Lanmò, Bernard Gousse, yesterday. Of the 30 member Senate, 16 voted against Gousse and the rest did not vote. With the second Prime Minister rejection by the Senate, it would appear that the honeymoon for the Mizikal Presidan Martelly is over, if there ever was one.

In the political drama in the lead-up to the vote, the foreign press hyped up support for Martelly while burying a story about the assassination of MP Dionald Polyte. Contrast this "oversight" with the destabilization "speculation" over the Jean Dominique assassination.

That a new system is warming up around the Cape Verde Islands right now is the furthest thing from Martelly's mind. That it could turn out be one of the expected major hurricanes should be one of the things that a Good Prime Minister would be preparing for. It's unlikely that Martelly will have one in place within the two weeks before its arrival.

HaitiAction.net will be tracking the progress of this storm. For the latest official updates, go to the Centre National de Météorologie (CNM) web page Many forecast and tracking resources can be found on the Tropical Cyclone page at HaitiAction.net


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