Update 8am Tuesday: At 7am local time a
still relatively weak Tropical Storm Sandy had taken a slight turn to
the northeast as it trudged along through the southern Caribbean Sea. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles
per hour and had turned from due north to north-northeast since the last
forecast, moving at just 3 miles per hour. All forecast paths agreed the storm would hit Jamaica sometime Wednesday afternoon, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane.
Tropical Depression #18 strengthened into Tropical Storm Sandy late Monday afternoon.
As of 4pm Cayman time on Monday, Sandy was stationary about 395 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica . It had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, but the storm is expected to intensify, possibly rapidly. For the time being, the National Hurricane Center in Miami forecasts Sandy’s centre to make landfall near hurricane strength just west of Kingston, Jamaica around midday Wednesday.
Although Sandy moved little on Monday afternoon, it is expected to begin to move north or north-northeast by Tuesday. If the storm were to move more northerly instead of northeasterly, as some computer forecast models show, it could pass much closer to the Cayman Islands, especially Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
A tropical storm watch was issued for Jamaica Monday morning and then for Haiti on Monday afternoon.
Based on current forecast track, the main effect of the storm for Grand Cayman will be scattered rain showers, windy conditions and rough seas that are expected to peak at 5 to 7 feet on Wednesday and Thursday.
A small craft advisory will be in effect from today through Thursday.
Conditions in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman could be worse since the center of Tropical Depression is expected to pass closer to those islands. However, both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are well out of the National Hurricane Center’s three-day forecast cone.