Plan for windy weather and rough seas

Some improvement expected for the weekend

Cayman will get a dose of windy weather and high seas starting tomorrow as the cold front that blanketed much of the American South in snow earlier this week pushes toward the area.

Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts of the Cayman Islands National Weather Service said Wednesday’s forecast calls for winds out of the east-northeast at 20 to 25 knots (23 to 29 miles per hour) and rough seas with wave heights of five to seven feet.

“It looks like we’re going to be getting some good strong winds through the next four or five days,” he said. “The strongest winds should be from tomorrow night for a day or so.”

On Thursday, the winds are forecast to remain east-northeast at 20 to 25 knots, with the wave heights increasing to six to nine feet.

Cloudy skies and a few showers are forecast for both days and a small craft warning will be in effect from Wednesday through at least Friday. Under a warning, all small craft are asked to remain in safe harbour.

Mr. Tibbetts said most of the rain associated with the cold front would probably affect Cayman in the 24-hour period starting Wednesday night.

“The cold front itself might not get here,” he said. “It looks like it might get hung up just north of us, but close enough to bring cloudy conditions and some rain.”

Conditions are forecast to start improving a bit on Friday, with winds reducing to 15 to 20 knots (17 – 23 mph) and shifting to the east-southeast.

“We should have better weather heading into the weekend, but we’ll still have some pretty strong winds,” Mr. Tibbetts said.

High temperatures from Wednesday through Saturday are expected to be in the low 80s, with low temperatures in the low 70s. Mr. Tibbetts said even if the cold front defused in the Cayman area, the northeast winds would bring a cooler wind chill factor.

“This is pretty typical of this time of year,” he said.

More flights cancelled

The snowy mess in the southern United States continued to disrupt flights, including at least one coming to the Cayman Islands. The scheduled Delta Air Lines flights between Atlanta and Grand Cayman were cancelled Tuesday because of the continued storm conditions that had forced 2,200 cancellations in Atlanta over the weekend.

Florida’s air traffic was also significantly affected, with flights at Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Miami International all reporting cancellations through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which experienced between four and seven inches of snow.

Other airports were also bracing themselves for spreading bad weather, which was expected to dump more than a foot of snow in place in the Northeast starting Tuesday evening. US Airways reported that it had cancelled 245 flights through LaGuardia, New York JFK and Logan International in Boston as of midday Tuesday.

Compass journalist Joe Shooman contributed to this article.

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