Little respite from rain

Hurricane Rina expected to head toward Florida

Grand Cayman will get just a little respite from the rainy conditions brought by Hurricane Rina before more wet weather moves into the area later this week.

As of 9am Tuesday morning, Rina was about 220 miles southwest of Grand Cayman and was steadily moving farther away as it tracked west-northwest at 3 miles per hour.

Between Saturday morning and Tuesday morning, 4.3 inches of rain had fallen at Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman. Cayman Islands National Weather Service Meteorologist Kerry Powery said up to another inch of rain was expected to fall by Wednesday morning and then there would be some clearing.

However, Mr. Powery said more rain was on the way.

“I expect it to start Thursday night or early Friday morning,” he said, adding the additional rain would come as a result of a combination of a trough expected to move into the area and from Rina making a northeasterly turn toward the western tip of Cuba later this week.

Mr. Powery said Rina was causing large swells on Grand Cayman along the west and south coasts, where crashing waves affected several waterfront businesses on Tuesday.

“Right now, the swells are 4 to 6 feet, but that should be increasing to 6 to 8 feet by Wednesday evening,” Mr. Powery said, adding there would likely be more of a northerly component to the swells by then as Rina gains latitude and nears Cuba.

A small craft advisory was likely to remain in effect for the rest of this week, Mr. Powery said.

The National Weather Service also warned residents of low-lying areas to take precautions because the heavy showers were likely to enhance flooding problems.

Hurricane Rina was a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour on Tuesday opening, however it was expected to strengthen to a major hurricane with sustained winds of at least 111 mph by Tuesday night.

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