Hurricane season revived

Olga forms in Atlantic

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season breathed life with the formation of Subtropical Storm Olga late Monday evening.

John Tibbetts

Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts. Photo: File

The formation of tropical or subtropical storms in December is unusual, but not rare. Olga marks the fourth named storm to form in the Atlantic basin in December since 2003.

The 2007 Hurricane Season was declared officially dead less than two weeks ago.

As of 10am Tuesday morning, Olga had maximum winds of about 46 miles per hour and was located about 130 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. However, the storm’s strongest winds were well north of the centre.

Olga’s westerly projected path would take it into the northwest Caribbean Sea in the vicinity of the Cayman Islands on Thursday.

Although most computer models forecast Olga to dissipate in the face of strong wind shear, Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts said Cayman residents should remain vigilant.

‘There’s a lot more that could go on with this storm,’ he said.

Mr. Tibbetts acknowledged that Olga is facing some hindrances.

‘This storm has a long way to go,’ he said. ‘It still has interactions with Hispaniola and Jamaica yet. We’ll have to see what it does as it heads west.’

If Olga dissipates into a remnant low as expected, it will likely only bring showers to the area later this week.

‘The models themselves do not bring a great deal more rain than we’re already expecting,’ Mr. Tibbetts said.

Cayman’s forecast for Wednesday through Saturday is for widely scattered showers with some thunder. Mr. Tibbetts said some of those showers are associated with Olga because the storm is pushing moisture this way.

The forecast for Wednesday and Thursday calls for breezy conditions, with winds north to northeast at 15 to 20 knots. A shift in the winds to the east-southeast is expected Thursday night, with a decrease in wind speeds to 10 to 15 knots. A small craft advisory is in effect through Thursday night.

Olga became the 15th named storm in the Atlantic basin in 2007.

Subtropical cyclones typically have maximum sustained winds located 100 miles or more from the centre of the storm system. As a result, these storms are generally less symmetrical than tropical storms. However the wind and rain from subtropical storm systems can be just as much as tropical systems.

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