Unprecedented cold front breezes by Cayman

    Wind expected to rise to 15-20 knots on Sunday

    The scene at Cemetery Beach in West Bay on Wednesday afternoon. A snorkeler died after getting into difficulty in the water earlier in the day. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY
    A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration taken May 6 at 4:15 p.m.
    A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration taken May 6 at 4:15 p.m.

    A late season cold front passed through the Cayman Islands on May 5. The cold front arrived in the early morning hours with supporting cloudy conditions, isolated showers, moderate-to-fresh westerly winds and rough seas.

    Winds are expected to be 10-15 knots on Friday and Saturday, before rising to 15-20 knots on Sunday, then falling off slightly on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Friday’s wave heights of 3 to 5 feet are expected to fall to 2 to 4 feet for the remainder of the weekend.

    Although cold fronts in the Caribbean are more frequent from mid-October to early April, “late-season” cold fronts can occur any time after that.

    However, according to Fred Sambula, former director of the National Weather Service, a cold front in Cayman this late in Spring is unprecedented.

    Cayman Islands National Weather Service records showed that by Thursday afternoon, winds shifted to the northwest to north with continuing rough seas. Cloudiness and showers had decreased by Thursday evening.

    Rainfall accumulation of 0.5mm had been recorded for Grand Cayman and 1.3mm for Cayman Brac over the last 24-hours.

    For a cold front, it is normal to experience southerly winds ahead of the front. After the front passes, a shift in the winds to the northwest usually occurs.

    According to meteorologist Allan Ebanks, winds are expected to pull around to the north northeast early Saturday morning, and later calling for moderate winds and seas, improving sea conditions.

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