Gustav Update – 7am Friday

Tropical Storm Gustav continues to head for the Cayman Islands.

At 7 a.m. Gustav was located near 18.3 N 78.3 W or 138 miles southeast of the Sister Islands or 213 miles east to southeast of Grand Cayman. The storm is moving west to northwest near 8 mph with maximum sustained winds near 65 mph and some further strengthening is likely today.

As the storm heads towards the Cayman Islands weather conditions with continue to deteriorate with the sisters islands being first affected from early this afternoon.

For the Sister Islands

Tropical storm force winds will begin to affect the Sister Islands from around 1 p.m. this afternoon.

Winds will first be northeasterly with speed of 50 mph with higher gusts and gradually increasing near hurricane strength by between 7 and 9 p.m. We can expect wave heights up to 15 to 20 feet, with a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet near the coast. A maximum speed of 75 mph is forecast for the Sister Islands during these times. Winds will shift to the southeast from around 8 p.m., and gradually decrease to below tropical storm force winds by 5 a.m. on Saturday.

For Grand Cayman

Tropical storm force winds of around 50 mph from the north and northwest will begin to affect Grand Cayman from around 7 to 8 p.m. tonight; gradually increasing to near Category one hurricane force by early Saturday morning. The center of the system is expected to pass within 32 miles north of Grand Cayman, and the Northeast Portions of the Island will be affected by the southern edge of the eye wall. Those areas can therefore experience stronger wind gust of 75 – 80 mph, between 1 – 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Winds will gradually move through the west & southwest from 2 a.m. Winds will fall below Tropical storm force by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Wave heights of up to 15 – 20 feet can be expected on the north, west and southern coasts of Grand Cayman, with a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet near the coast.

Rain-bands associated with Gustav will begin affecting the Cayman Islands from mid morning today. Weather models are forecasting around 3-5 inches of rainfall with the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav, therefore flooding of low lying areas is expected and all residents in such areas should take necessary precautions.

All marine interests should remain in safe Harbour.

Residents are urged to continue to closely monitor the progress of Gustav