Storms could threaten Cayman

Although the National Hurricane Centre in Miami tracks Tropical Storm Ana and Tropical Storm Bill well away from the Cayman Islands, the former could affect the weather here by Wednesday.

Hurricane season graphic

Hurricane season graphic

Tropical Storm Ana reformed out of the dissipated Tropical Depression #2 early Saturday morning. Cayman Islands weather forecaster Kerry Powery that, as of Sunday morning, the official track of Ana would take it about 150 miles northeast of the Cayman Islands, skirting the southern coast of Cuba.

However, Mr. Powery stressed that residents of the Cayman Islands should still prepare for the storm because the official track had been continually shifting south.

‘It’s been doing that almost since it started,’ he said.

Ana became the latest forming first-named storm of the season in the Atlantic Basin in 17 years. The notorious Hurricane Andrew formed on 17 August, 1992, two days after the 15 August formation of Ana.

Interaction with Hispaniola and eastern Cuba could weaken Ana back into a tropical depression or dissipate it altogether before it reaches the area of Cayman.

Mr. Powery said the storm would likely bring rough seas to waters around the Cayman Islands, but that as of Sunday morning, it was not expected to bring too much in the way of winds or rain, as long as the track did not shift farther south.

‘We’ll just have to wait and see,’ he said.

Mr. Powery said the reason Ana was not curving north as forecast was that a mid-to-upper ridge of high pressure known as the Azores High had been expected to weaken north of the storm, but it had not done so. That ridge is still expected to weaken and allow an even more dangerous cyclone, Tropical Storm Bill, to curve toward the United States.

Bill is forecast to become the season’s first Atlantic Basin hurricane by Tuesday.

In addition to Ana and Bill, Tropical Depression #4 formed in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday and was forecast to make landfall in the Florida panhandle as Tropical Storm Claudette late Sunday night.

Another tropical wave emerged off the coast of Africa early Sunday and some computer models show it developing into a tropical cyclone as well.

The increase in tropical cyclone activity corresponds with what has historically been the peak of the Atlantic Basin hurricane season. Although hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from 1 June through 30 November, a large majority of tropical cyclones occur in the period between the middle of August and the middle of October.