TS Sandy Near Hurricane Strength

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Marine warning in effect for Cayman Islands

Published 24th October 2012, 9:37am

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service continues to issue advisories for Tropical Storm Sandy. At 7 am on October 24, 2012 the storm was located at 16.6 N 76.9 W or about 325 miles southeast of George Town, Grand Cayman.

Tropical Storm Sandy is within the Cayman Islands watch and warning area, however based on the forecast track the storm poses no immediate threat to the Cayman Islands.

Tropical Storm Sandy is currently moving to the north at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and higher gusts. Tropical Storm force winds extend outwards up to 140 miles, mainly to the east of the centre. Strengthening is forecast over the next 24 hours and Sandy is expected to be a hurricane when the cyclone moves over Jamaica later this afternoon. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jamaica and for the eastern provinces of Cuba.

At the present time, Tropical Storm Sandy is not forecast to head directly to the Cayman Islands. Forecast models indicate that the severe weather associated with this strengthening cyclone should remain to the east of the Cayman area; however some cloudiness and showers are expected to spread into our area from today through Thursday evening. Locally heavy showers are likely and may lead to flooding of low lying areas, mainly over the Sister Islands between Wednesday and Thursday.

The Tropical Storm (along with a high pressure system located over the southeastern United States) is influencing our weather patterns and producing fresh east to northeast winds and very rough seas over the Cayman area, hence a marine warning is in effect. The Weather Service is forecasting that the wind direction will shift towards the north tonight and move round to the northwest by Thursday evening.

Very rough seas are expected through the next few days with wave heights near 5 to 7 feet today, peaking near 9 feet by Thursday with a gradual reduction of wave heights through Sunday. These waves could have a significant impact on the east and northeast coasts initially, gradually affecting the northern coasts by tonight and the northwest coasts from Thursday evening through Sunday.

Residents of the Cayman Islands should closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Sandy.