Emily still dangerous, but weakening

Weakening Hurricane Emily moved on a track that would take it farther away from Grand Cayman Friday as the National Hurricane Committee issued a Hurricane Warning for all three Cayman Islands.

At 4pm Friday, Hurricane Emily was located about 350 miles southeast of Jamaica. The storm had weakened significantly during the day, going from a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 135 mph to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted, however, that Emily would regain some strength as it entered the warm waters of the western Caribbean Sea, where hurricanes have historically intensified.

Emily was therefore predicted to have top sustained winds of 115 mph – Category 3 strength – at its closest point of approach to Grand Cayman.

That point was estimated at 36 hours earlier in the day, but Emily moved more westward Friday, and although a return to its west-northwestward track was expected, the new projected path of the storm would take it some 80 miles south of Grand Cayman early Sunday morning.

Regardless, heavy rain was expected to fall in the Cayman Islands starting Saturday afternoon.

Since tropical storm force winds extend 140 miles outward from Emily’s centre, strong winds are also expected on Grand Cayman starting late Saturday afternoon.

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