Issued Wednesday, 6 July, 2005; 12 noon
The Cayman Islands National Hurricane Committee’s preparations for TS Dennis are moving into full gear as the storm continues to travel towards the Cayman area. A Hurricane Warning will likely be issued later today, upgrading from a Watch, if the storm holds to projections.
Tropical Storm Dennis, now about 622 miles ESE of Cayman Brac, is expected to strengthen to a hurricane later today and to travel just north of the Cayman Islands, affecting the Islands with tropical storm conditions from Thursday afternoon through Friday. If current projections hold, Cayman Brac should feel the strongest winds of 65 mph on Thursday night, while Grand Cayman can expect maximum winds of around 41 mph before daybreak on Friday. All three islands can expect rainfall of up to three inches between Thursday and Friday.
At its 10:30 o’clock meeting this morning NHC sub-committee heads reported on the status of preparations. Government buildings will be shuttered on all three islands beginning today and shelters are being made ready to be opened should the need arise.
Arrangements are being made for flights to accommodate persons on Little Cayman who may wish to leave. Visitors on Little Cayman should check with their property managers for details.
NHC Chairman Donovan Ebanks advises the public to closely monitor the progress of this storm and to begin personal and business preparations if they haven’t yet done so. While Dennis has held closely to all projections and is still not expected to pass directly over the Cayman Islands, any shift in the storm’s course or size could place Cayman is greater danger.
The NHC will meet at 4:30 this evening to consider the 4p.m. Miami National Hurricane Centre advisory. A Hurricane Warning may become necessary at that time. Until then, the Hurricane Watch declared at 10 0’clock last night remains in effect for the Cayman Islands.
At 10 am today, Tropical Storm Dennis was located near latitude 15.4 north, longitude 71.5 west or about 225 miles south-southeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti, about 475 miles (765 km) ESE of Kingston, Jamaica and 705 miles ESE of Grand Cayman. Dennis is moving towards the west-northwest near 15mph and this motion is expected to continue today. On this track, Dennis will be near Jamaica early Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts.