Hurricane Ike failed to make its turn to the west-northwest as early as expected, bringing it much closer to all three Cayman Islands.
The closer path caused the Cayman Islands Government to issue a tropical storm warning for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
The category 2 hurricane is now expected to come within 109 miles of Cayman Brac around 4pm today, and within 119 miles of Little Cayman about an hour later.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 200 miles from Ike’s centre. The Sister Islands are expected to feel winds of 30-35 knots (34-40 mph) today, with waves six to eight feet.
All schools in Cayman Brac closed Monday morning after the tropical storm warning was issued.
Ike will also impact weather on Grand Cayman, with rain expected to start early in the afternoon. Winds of 20-25 knots (23-27 mph) are expected from the west to southwest today and from the southwest tomorrow, which will likely bring rough surf to the Seven Mile Beach area.
Based on the National Hurricane Center in Miami 10am forecast, Ike will come within 169 miles from Grand Cayman late Monday evening.
Rough seas and strong winds are expected to continue in the Cayman Islands through Wednesday.
The more southerly track of Ike will likely take it over the warm waters of the north-western Caribbean Sea, possibly leading to re-intensification before making another landfall in western Cuba on Tuesday.