Storm likely to miss Cayman

Tropical Depression No. 16 formed off the coast of Honduras Tuesday morning, but is expected to turn to the west and not threaten the Cayman Islands.

However, the cyclone is expected to stay over water for the next few days and intensify, causing rough weather locally at least through today.

A couple of global forecasting models yesterday still showed the storm system moving north toward Cayman, but Cayman Islands Meteorological Services forecaster Alan Ebanks doesn’t believe that will happen.

‘There’s a cold front pushing down from the north, which should keep it from moving north,’ he said.

The cold front moving in is the first of the season, Mr. Ebanks said.

Although TD16 is hundreds of miles away from the Cayman Islands, the dismal weather experienced here this week has been caused by the weather system, Mr. Ebanks said.

The five-day forecast calls for strong breezes out of the east or northeast at 15-to-20 knots with rough seas of four to six feet through Wednesday and breezy conditions through Friday. A small craft advisory was issued for yesterday and today.

The forecast calls for cloudy skies and isolated showers – with some thunder – through the end of the week.

If TD16 intensifies as expected, it will become Tropical Storm Paloma. So far this hurricane season, every tropical depression that has formed has also intensified into a named storm.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean on Tuesday, Tropical Depression No. 15 strengthened to Tropical Storm Omar. That storm, which has been meandering through the eastern Caribbean for several days, is expected to start heading northeast quickly and impact the Leeward Islands at or near hurricane strength tonight or Thursday morning.

Another storm system, designated Invest 90, was in the tropical Atlantic on Tuesday and was only given a low chance of development into a tropical cyclone. Most computer models predicted the storm would curve north into the Atlantic, but at least two had the storm heading for the Caribbean.

The Atlantic Basin hurricane season lasts through 30 November, but activity tends to tail off significantly from late October. Storms that do form late in the season tend do form in the Western Caribbean where waters are still generally warm enough to support tropical cyclone formation.

One of the worst hurricanes ever to impact the Cayman Islands in 1932 formed in November. It passed very close to Cayman Brac at or very near Category 5 strength on 9 November. The storm killed 70 people in the Cayman Islands.