National Hurricane Center monitoring storm despite US government shutdown
Grand Cayman was lashed by heavy rain as a tropical weather system passed by the island on Wednesday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center was scheduled on Wednesday to send one of its hurricane hunter planes to take a closer look at the low pressure system, which experts said had a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.
Slick roads and large puddles made for a tricky commute on Wednesday morning, but local authorities reported no weather-related accidents or road closures during the deluge.
Hazard Management Cayman Islands monitored the storm throughout, but reported no incidents.
The worst of the rain had passed by lunchtime on Wednesday as the weather system passed to the west of the Cayman Islands, continuing its track toward the Gulf of Mexico, where it was expected to strengthen.
Just over an inch of rain fell in Grand Cayman between 7 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, said duty forecaster Kerry Powery.
“This is a surface trough affecting the western Caribbean. It is to the west of us and moving away from us. The worst of the weather was over the past 24 hours,” he said around noon Wednesday.
More normal fall weather, with scattered showers, is expected for the rest of the week.
The U.S. government shutdown has led to some reduction in services, including the suspension of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website.
A note on the site warns: “Due to the federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated websites are unavailable. Only websites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained.”
In keeping with that mission statement, the National Hurricane Center’s site is still in operation at www.nhc.noaa.gov and updating regularly on the storm.