Central America facing flooding

Storm to pass far south of Cayman

The long-lasting storm system dubbed Invest 93L, which became Tropical Depression 8 late Thursday night, has passed well to the south of Grand Cayman, bringing only some scattered showers. 

Cayman Islands National Weather Service Chief Meteorologist John Tibbetts said the rainfall models weren’t showing the system bringing much rain at 
all to Grand Cayman. 

“Maybe a half inch,” he said. 

What rain Grand Cayman gets will fall between late Thursday night and Friday morning, with things clearing up nicely after that. 

“It looks like a decent weekend,” said Mr. Tibbetts, adding that there would only be a 20 per cent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. 

Not everywhere will stay dry, however. The storm made landfall Friday morning along the coast of northeastern Honduras.  

Jeff Masters, of the Weather Undergound website at wunderground.com said the storm would drench Honduras. 

“The forward motion of 93L will slow to 5 to 10 mph by Friday, so the storm could be a major rain event for Northern Honduras, with rain amounts of 4 to 8 inches likely by the time the storm reaches Belize on Saturday,” he wrote on Thursday. “Heavy rains will spread to Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by Friday night or Saturday morning.” 

If the storm travels north enough to miss making landfall in Nicaragua or Honduras, Mr. Masters said it could have time to develop into a Category 1 hurricane. 

The National Hurricane Center in Miami classified the tropical wave as Invest 93L on 10 August, almost as soon as it came off the coast of Africa. The tropical wave encountered a lot of dry Saharan air as it raced across the Atlantic on its way to the Caribbean Sea and never developed. The storm system was actually declassified as an invest last weekend, only to be re-classified on Monday. 

The storm was finally becoming much better organised Thursday as it passed through the warm waters of the Western Caribbean, about 200 miles south-southwest of Jamaica. As of Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center gave the system a high 80 per-cent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. If it were to become a tropical storm, it would be called Harvey, the eighth named storm of the year. None of the previous seven storms have reached hurricane status, the first time on record the Atlantic Basin hurricane season has gone that deep into named storms without at least one reaching hurricane strength. 

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