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Published 5th August 2012, 8:54pm

A Tropical Storm Watch continues for Grand Cayman until further notice as Tropical Storm Ernesto continues its westward passage. All residents are asked to closely monitor weather advisories and the Cayman Prepared website.

The Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson said that it will be business as usual for all government operations tomorrow (Monday, 6 August) as Ernesto on its present path is not likely to significantly impact Grand Cayman.

Shelters are not being opened at this time since the storm is expected to stay on its forecast track which brings its closest proximity to Grand Cayman at 244 miles to the south at approximately 10 a.m. tomorrow, Hazard Management Cayman Islands Director, Mr. McCleary Frederick, said.

Currently, TS Ernesto is travelling west at 18 mph and at 4 p.m. was 331 miles south east of Grand Cayman, Chief Meteorological Officer, Mr. Fred Sambula told a meeting chaired by the Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson, Cert. Hon, JP, this afternoon.

However, thunder storms with heavy rain and gusty winds up to 30 mph at times are likely from this evening into tomorrow. Rainfall models indicate up to 1.25 inches of rainfall for Grand Cayman between 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday.

Additionally, coastal flooding is possible and persons living along the coastline are advised to exercise caution. Drivers are also advised to exercise caution while driving on the roads.

A small craft advisory that was issued at 10 a.m. Sunday continues to remain in effect until further notice.

Wave heights of 3-6 feet are expected by 7 p.m. Sunday which will increase to 6-9 feet by 7 a.m. Monday and peak at 9-12 feet by 7 p.m. tomorrow. So Ernesto is predicted to be a rain and wave action event, Mr. Sambula said.

With shelter managers continuing to remain on notice, the first shelter to open will be the one run by the Red Cross, should the need arise to open shelters due to flooding in low-lying areas, he noted.

(GIS)