Rainy weekend sets tone for summer

Almost five inches of rain fell
between Friday night and Monday morning, taking the total rainfall amount for
July over the average for the month.

Cayman Island National Weather
Service forecaster Kerry Powery said 4.91 inches of rain fell over the weekend,
with 2.96 inches of that falling in the six-hour period between 7am Saturday
morning and 1pm Saturday afternoon.

With the US Climate Prediction Center
stating Monday that La Niña was likely to develop this month or next, the
weekend’s rains could be a harbinger of a cool and wet summer.  La Niña, which is caused by an anomalous
cooling of sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is known
to make the Caribbean cloudier and wetter. It also acts to suppress wind shear
in the Atlantic Basin, promoting more and stronger tropical cyclone

The moderate El Niño that
suppressed rainfall last year collapsed quickly this spring, bringing about a
change in the Caribbean climatology. So far this month, 7.05 inches of rain has
fallen at the airport, surpassing the average for July of 5.81 inches. By
comparison, with the El Niño in place last July, only 0.38 on an inch of rain
fell during the month.

Weather forecaster Avalon Porter
said more rain was on the way Monday evening into Tuesday as another tropical
wave passed by the area. However, once that wave passed, Mr. Porter said there
should be some general clearing, although the typical summertime isolated
showers were still possible.

After a lull in the first part of
July, tropical activity looked to be gearing up this week. The National
Hurricane Center in Miami identified two areas of possibly cyclone development
on Monday – one the tropical wave passing by Cayman on Monday night and
Tuesday, and another tropical wave just northeast of Puerto Rico. 

In addition, vigorous tropical
waves have been tracking off the coast of Africa recently, with others
following on the African continent, giving the indication that the Cape Verde
hurricane season was getting ready to begin. Cape Verde storms are the ones
that form from tropical waves coming off of Africa and then track across the
tropical Atlantic Ocean.