Cayman gets needed drenching

A typical September weather system moved through the Cayman area from Tuesday, bringing much-needed rain.

Cayman Islands National Weather Service Meteorologist Allan Ebanks said 2.12 inches of rain fell at Owen Roberts International Airport from 7am Tuesday through 7am Wednesday. Up to another inch of rain was expected to fall before the system pulled away from Cayman Thursday afternoon.

‘We had an inverted trough moving through the area with some upper level support,’ he said, adding that the upper level winds were too strong, however, to support tropical cyclone formation of the system.

Mr. Ebanks said the rainfall was heavier in some places on Grand Cayman and that there had been some flooding on low-lying areas.

‘We urge the public to drive safely, he said. ‘The roads are wet.’

Rain and flooded roads snarled traffic Wednesday morning around George Town. Most passengers from three cruise ships in port waited until the rain eased some in the late morning before heading ashore.

The cloud cover also brought with it cooler temperatures. The temperature at 10am Wednesday morning was just under 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which was about 10 degrees lower than the average late morning temperature in September.

Mr. Ebanks said the rains were normal for September.

‘We typically get mid-morning and early afternoon showers,’ he said, ‘and sometimes there are [thunderstorm] cells that move off Cuba at night and by early morning move through here.’

Despite the heavy rains, Grand Cayman continues to have one of its driest years on record. Through Wednesday, Cayman had received 22.42 inches of rain, much lower than the 38.34 average for the first nine months of the year.

Unless Grand Cayman gets a more-than-average amount of rain for the rest of the year, it will set a record for the lowest annual rainfall.

However, this week’s rains have already pushed the September total above the average for the month. Through Wednesday morning 8.47 inches of rain had fallen, nearly a half-inch more than the 8.04 inche-average for September.