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Rough Seas Expected

Published 23rd October 2012, 4:43pm

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service continues to issue advisories for Tropical Storm Sandy. At 4 pm on October 23, 2012 the storm was located at 14.3 N 77.6 W or about 425 miles south 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 northeast at 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and higher gusts. Tropical Storm force winds extend outwards up to 105 miles from the centre. Strengthening is forecast over the next 24 hours and Sandy is expected to be a hurricane when it approaches Jamaica on Wednesday. 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 cloudiness and showers are expected to spread into our area from Tuesday night through Friday morning. Locally heavy showers are likely and may lead to flooding of low lying areas, mainly over the Sister Islands on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Tropical Storm (along with a high pressure system located over the southeastern United States) is influencing our weather and producing fresh east to northeast winds and rough seas over the Cayman area, hence a small craft warning is in effect. As Tropical Storm Sandy is expected to strengthen, winds affecting the Cayman Islands are also expected to increase. The National Weather Service is urging boat operators to seek safe harbour tonight as marine conditions will deteriorate further, leading to a marine warning being in effect from tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. The Weather Service is forecasting that the wind direction will gradually shift towards the north northwest by Thursday as the system moves over eastern Cuba.

Very rough seas are expected through the next few days with wave heights initially near 5 to 7 feet from tomorrow morning, 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 to northeast coasts initially, gradually affecting the northern coasts by Thursday and the northwest coasts from Friday through Sunday.

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