Rain likely to continue through weekend


Rainstorms will continue through the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service, but they will probably not be as severe on Saturday and Sunday. 

An unusual late-season cold front and an upper-level trough have combined to bring storms to the West Indies and a potential tropical depression to the southeast coast of the United States, said Cayman chief meteorologist Kerry Powery. 

The storm off Florida’s east coast could become the first named tropical system of the year, almost a month before the official start of hurricane season. “It’s a rarity to have a cold front so close to the start of hurricane season,” Mr. Powery said, but not entirely unexpected.  

The storms will continue this week, potentially lightening somewhat on the weekend, the meteorologist said. He is predicting afternoon showers Saturday and Sunday. 

The Cayman National Weather Service says winds will be east to southeast at 10 to 15 knots, and seas will have waves of 3 to 5 feet through the weekend. The storms here, Mr. Powery noted, are “not tropical in nature.” It’s similar to a winter weather pattern but with lots of moisture from the tropics, he said.  

The rain in Cayman is from the same weather pattern as the potential tropical depression off the southern U.S. coast, but not directly connected, he said. 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical system move north off the east coast of Florida. U.S. forecasters say the system has a 60 percent chance of turning into a tropical depression before the weekend. A depression is a tropical cyclone with a closed center of circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 miles per hour, or 33 knots, or less. 

Hurricane Center forecasters say conditions Thursday and Friday make it more likely for the system to strengthen. If it gathers enough strength, it will earn the name Ana, as the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. 

U.S. Weather Service models suggest the storm could track close along the coast of the Carolinas. Forecasters warn that the system will likely bring high seas and heavy rains to the southeastern coastal region of the U.S. 

Tourists run for cover in George Town during a downpour on Wednesday. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY