Rain, rain go away! Hurricane Rina a rainmaker for Cayman

    rainy day4 Lead

     

    Rainy conditions will continue on Grand Cayman until Wednesday, thanks to a relatively close encounter with Hurricane Rina. 

    Although Rina began moving away from Grand Cayman on Monday, the storm – in combination with a cold front that was in the area – combined to bring nearly 3 inches of rain over the weekend. 

    Cayman Islands National Weather Service Meteorologist Avalon Porter said the rain from Rina would continue through Wednesday morning, likely bringing another inch to an inch-and-a-half of rain. 

    “After that there should be some clearing for a day or so, then we expect more weather to move in,” he said. 

    The storm system brought more than two inches of rain to Grand Cayman in the 24-hour 
period beginning at 7am Saturday, and then another two-thirds of an inch in the next 24 hours. Mr. Porter said the readings are taken at the airport and he was aware the rain was heavier in other locations on Grand Cayman. 

    “The rainfall in Savannah was a lot heavier than we had at the airport,” he said. 

    Although seas remained moderately rough and a small-craft advisory is in effect through Tuesday night, the worst effect of Rina on Grand Cayman was some localised flooding of low-lying areas. 

    Mr. Porter said the winds were only forecast to be 10 to 15 knots out of the east-northeast. 

    “There could be higher gusts in the showers,” he said. 

    Homes and businesses in North Side and East End were without power for more than two hours Monday morning, possibly caused by the rain and winds from Rina. 

    Caribbean Utilities Company spokeswoman Pat Bynoe-Clarke said Monday morning the company was investigating the cause, which it believed was weather related. 

    The outage began at 7.30am and power was fully restored by 9.44am, she said. 

    Most of North Side and parts of East End were affected. 

    “CUC apologises for any inconvenience this outage may have caused,” Ms Bynoe-Clarke said. 

    Rina went from being Invest 96L to Tropical Depression 18 to Tropical Storm Rina in a six-hour period between 4pm and 10pm Cayman time on Sunday. It then became Hurricane Rina shortly after 1pm Cayman time on Monday when a Hurricane Hunter aircraft found 75-miles-per-hour winds in the storm.  

    The maximum sustained winds in Rina increased 30 miles per hour in just three hours. The rapidly intensifying storm was forecast to become a major hurricane with at least 111 miles per hour by Wednesday. 

    On Monday afternoon, the storm was about 193 miles southwest of Grand Cayman and moving northwest at 5mph.  

    The storm is not expected to come any closer to Grand Cayman, although some computer forecast models are calling for Rina to track back east eventually.  

    The official National Hurricane Center in Miami track forecasts Rina to make landfall as a hurricane on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near Cozumel on Friday morning, and then head northeast toward the western tip of Cuba. 

    Rina might not be the last tropical system to affect the Cayman Islands this hurricane season. There was a broad area of low pressure in the extreme southeastern Caribbean near the Windward Islands, Bonaire and Curacao.  

    Although the National Hurricane Center only gave the system a 10 per cent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Wednesday morning, several forecasting models were indicating 
development after that period.  

    As of Monday morning, several of those models showed the system coming over or very near the Cayman Islands as a hurricane. 

     

    Compass journalist Norma Connolly contributed to this article. 

    rainy day4

    Heavy showers from Hurricane Rina on Monday.
    Jewel Levy
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