December second coldest in history

    Temperature dipped into the 50s for the first time in more than decade

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    If you thought it was downright chilly on Grand Cayman last month, you’re right; it was the second coldest December in recorded history here.

    Statistics provided by the Cayman Islands National Weather Service indicated that the average temperature last month was 75.7 degrees, second only to 1973’s 75 degrees as the coldest ever.

    Chief Meteorologist Officer John Tibbetts explained that average temperature for a month is calculated by taking 17 readings a day, every hour between 6am and 11pm.

    December’s coolness was highlighted by a low temperature of 57.3 degrees on 8 December, the coldest temperature in more than a decade.

    Meteorologist Allan Ebanks said the last time the temperature dipped below 60 degrees here was 11 February, 2000, when the low was 59 degrees.

    The lowest temperature ever recorded in the Cayman Islands was 52 degrees on 11 February, 1968.

    2010 weather highlights

    The highest temperature recorded by the National Weather Service during 2010 was 92.7 degrees on 11 August. The highest temperature ever recorded in the Cayman Islands was 94.5 degrees on 29 September, 2004, less than three weeks after Hurricane Ivan denuded most of Grand Cayman’s tree foliage.

    Grand Cayman received a slightly more than average amount of rain in 2010 with 60.09 inches, compared to 56.48 inches on average.

    March received the least amount of rain with 0.21 inches. The rainiest month of the year was September, with 14.93 inches. October was the second rainiest with 12.39 inches.

    September’s wet weather was generated mostly by the passing of two weather systems that became Tropical Storm Matthew and Tropical Storm Nicole.

    It was Nicole that really soaked Cayman, bringing more than 10 inches of rain over three days, including 4.5 inches in the 24-hour hour period ending 28 September.

    However, that figure was nowhere near the greatest amount of rain in a 24-hour period. On 18 January, 2003, 9.45 inches of rain fell in what was normally the dry season.

    By comparison, in 2010 only 0.55 inches of rain fell during the entire month of January.

    Tropical Storm Nicole was also responsible for bringing the highest recorded winds to the Cayman Islands in 2010, when a gust of 51 miles per hour was recorded at Gerrard Smith Airport in Cayman Brac on 29 September.

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    Flooding rains in George Town were only the start of what was forecast to be a wet and stormy week in June last year.
    Photo: File
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