2016 Hurricane Season
Published 30th November 2016, 5:2pm
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season officially ended at midnight on November 30th. The 2016 season produced 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The hurricane season was above average in terms of activity; however there were only two systems that resulted in severe weather notifications being issued for the Cayman Islands.
On August 1st the Cayman Islands were briefly placed under a Tropical Storm Watch as Tropical Storm Earl passed two hundred miles south of the Cayman Islands; however the effects from this system were minimal, with the heavy rain associated with the storm passing just south of Grand Cayman.
On September 30th a Severe Weather Warning was issued for the Sister Islands with powerful Hurricane Matthew expected to produce very rough seas and a possible storm surge of 1 to 3 feet. The hurricane passed east of Jamaica attaining Category 5 status and went on to become the strongest, costliest and deadliest storm of the season. Hurricane Matthew resulted in over 1,600 deaths in Haiti and caused significant damage in the Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew now goes into the history books as the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005.
In November, a late season hurricane formed in the south west Caribbean Sea below the Cayman Islands, but instead of following the typical northerly track, the system headed due west, moving near San Andres Island before coming ashore on the coast of Nicaragua as a Category Two Hurricane. For several days prior to moving ashore on the Central American coast, weak steering currents kept the system virtually stationary as it gradually strengthened. Hurricane Otto caused eight fatalities in Panama, ten in Costa Rica, and another four in Nicaragua.