Stormy weather coming

Possibly cyclone later this week

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A
weather system identified as Invest 93L by the National Hurricane Centre in
Miami on Monday is forecast by some computer models to become a tropical
cyclone in the western Caribbean later this week.

The
large westward-moving weather system was centred around 65W in the eastern
Caribbean Sea on Monday afternoon.

“This
system is showing some signs of organisation and environmental conditions
appear conducive for gradual development during the next couple of days,” the
Hurricane Centre stated in an advisory, noting that there was a 30 per cent
chance of the system becoming a tropical cyclone by Wednesday afternoon.

In
his blog on the Weather Underground website, meteorologist Jeff Masters called
the system “a major concern”.

“This
disturbance… has the best chance to become Tropical Storm Alex of any system
we’ve seen so far this year,” he wrote.

Masters
noted that weather conditions in front of the storm were favourable for
development.

“With
wind shear expected to drop to low values less than 10 knots over the central
and western Caribbean this week, I don’t see any major impediments to the storm
becoming a tropical depression by Friday,” he wrote. 

“Expect
93L to bring flooding rains of 3 – 6 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and
extreme south western Haiti on Wednesday,” he added. “These rains will spread
to the Cayman Islands and central Cuba by Thursday.”

The
Cayman Islands National Weather Service forecast periods of rain and
thunderstorms Wednesday through Friday. 
Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts said the forecast didn’t take into
account any specific impact from Invest 93L.

“Not
at this point,” he said, adding that the Weather Service would constantly
monitor the system.

Mr.
Tibbetts said the upcoming rains were “almost typical” for the season.

“We’ve
got a number of tropical waves coming across [the Caribbean Sea] and the
moisture pattern is one that supports a long period of cloudiness and showers,”
he said.

The
weather system is of particular concern to the oil-spill-stricken Gulf of
Mexico. The leading European weather model, which has been the most accurate at
forecasting tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin over the past three years,
shows the system becoming a major hurricane in the Gulf next week.

 Latest weather developments 

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Monday’s flooding rains in George Town were only the start of what is forecast to be a wet and stormy week.
Photo: Alan Markoff

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