Christmas breezes on their way

Nor’wester coming

In a holiday tradition almost as consistent as the arrival of Santa Claus, a nor’wester will bring the so-called Christmas breezes to Grand Cayman this weekend.

National Weather Service Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts said the cold front would arrive Friday evening.

‘Clouds and showers should move in from [Friday] evening,’ Mr. Tibbetts said. ‘The wind will do what is known as veer; it will be from the southeast [Thursday], from the south [Friday] morning, from the southwest [Friday] afternoon and then from the northwest [Friday] night.’

The cold front will bring with it occasional to intermittent showers, lower temperatures, 15 to 20 knot winds and rough seas, especially along the north and west coasts.

In meteorologist-speak, Mr. Tibbetts said Grand Cayman could expect ‘fresh northerly winds’, but he acknowledged that many people here would refer to them as ‘Christmas breezes’. He said it was typical for stronger cold fronts from the north to start reaching the Cayman Islands this time of year.

‘This is when the cold fronts start to get into full swing,’ he said, adding that it looked like the windy conditions would last two to three days.

Mr. Tibbetts said the nor’wester will bring rough seas of four to six feet and that boats anchored or moored along the west coast should seek safe harbour. A small craft advisory will be in effect from Saturday morning through at least Monday night.

The cold front will also bring cooler temperatures. Saturday’s high is only expected to reach 81°F (27°C) and Sunday’s low is expected to dip to 72°F (22°C).