Tropical storm watch for Cayman

Update 4pm: The center of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located about 220 miles south-southwest of Kingston Jamaica. Ernesto is moving toward the west near 20 mph and a gradual turn toward the west-northwest with a further decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Ernesto is expected to pass to the south of the Cayman Islands tonight and early Monday and move north of the northeastern coast of Honduras late Monday and Monday night.

A tropical storm watch will be in effect for the Cayman Islands from 10am Sunday morning even though Tropical Storm Ernesto weakened overnight instead of strengthening as expected.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

The storm is expected to pass more than 200 miles south of Grand Cayman on Monday afternoon, bringing only some rain, rough seas and windy conditions.

Squalls from Ernesto’s outer rain bands are expected Sunday night through Monday.

Cayman Islands National Weather Service forecaster Gilbert Miller said the system was expected to bring an inch to an inch and a half of rain through Monday night.

“We expect it to remain cloudy overnight Monday and then to clear up thereafter,” he said Sunday morning.

Mr. Miller said Grand Cayman could expect sustained winds of 23 to 28 miles per hours with higher gusts to go with rough seas of five to seven feet. A small craft warning will be in effect Monday and Tuesday.

As of Sunday morning, Ernesto was located 215 miles south-southeast of Jamaica and was racing westward at 22 mph hour. Its maximum sustained wind were 50 miles per hour, down from 60 mph Saturday.

A decision on whether to government offices would be open on Monday would be made late Sunday afternoon, Hazard Management Cayman Islands said.
 

TSErnesto-Sunday8am-Satellite

Ernesto is churning across the Caribbean and the Cayman Islands is under a Tropical Storm Warning. Photo: NOAA