Following landfall in Nicaragua and drenching rains in Honduras, the tropical system known as Ida kept together and strengthened to a tropical storm early Saturday.
Top winds for the system Saturday morning measured 45 mph as it lurched northward into the southwestern Caribbean Sea at a plodding eight miles per hour.
The storm was expected to pose no direct threat to the Cayman Islands.
Most forecasts agreed by Saturday that the system would remain a tropical storm over the weekend and pass through the channel between western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula sometime Sunday.
Some strengthening of the storm was possible, but the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not predict Ida reaching hurricane strength for at least the next two days.