UPDATE 5 p.m. Tuesday: Officials with the National Weather Service cancelled the tropical storm watch for Grand Cayman. Forecasters say the islands will likely still see storms, high winds and rough seas overnight associated with the storm passing to the south.
Tropical Storm Earl, as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, was 210 miles south of Grand Cayman and headed west toward Mexico and Central America. While the strongest part of the storm will likely remain to the south, a tropical storm warning is still in effect for Grand Cayman and forecasters expect the island will see an inch of rain, strong winds and rough seas.
Midday Tuesday the Cayman Islands National Weather Service cancelled the tropical storm warning for the Sister Islands. Forecasters say the Sister Islands could still see some showers and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, as of 2 p.m., some bands of rain and wind have already moved across Grand Cayman with radar images showing there’s much more rain on the way.
Government warned that winds could become strong at 20 to 25 knots with 7 to 9-foot waves Tuesday evening. “All marine interests in Grand Cayman should seek safe harbor and remain there until further notice,” the weather statement warned.
Caribbean Utilities Company closed its payment offices on North Sound Road and at Caribbean Plaza at 1:30, according to a company press release. CUC said it plans to continue to supply power unless there is major damage to its transmission and distribution system.
“While CUC’s service infrastructure is designed to withstand winds of over 100 MPH, tree limbs or other debris that may come in contact with lines and other equipment may cause localized outages or equipment damage at lower wind speeds,” the company said, reminding people not to touch downed power lines and call 945-1282 to report any outages.
Earl continues to move quickly to the west at 22 mph, according to forecasters with the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center. Tropical storm warnings have been posted for the coasts of Honduras, Belize and the southern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
The storm has maximum winds Tuesday afternoon of 50 mph and forecasters predict it could strengthen over the next 36 hours before making landfall in Central America and Mexico.