Dec. 1 marked the end of a deadly hurricane season in the Atlantic.
The 2016 season had 15 named storms, with seven hurricanes and three major storms reaching Category 3 or higher. The biggest storm of the season, Matthew, was the first hurricane in the Atlantic to reach Category 5 since Felix in 2007.
Matthew’s sustained winds at one point reached more than 160 mph. The storm claimed 1,765 deaths in Haiti, positioned between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, and caused havoc as it swept through the Caribbean and the southeastern coast of the United States.
In addition to Matthew, storms Collin, Earl and Hermine affected the Caribbean, but not the Cayman Islands.
Two of the storm systems led to severe weather notices from the Cayman Islands Weather Service this year.
Matthew stalled off Colombia and left the people of Cayman watching and waiting as forecasters said the storm would take a sharp turn away from the Cayman Islands and head north.
The storm did turn north after a tense weekend, with islands across the region bracing for a hit.
In a press statement, Simon Boxall with Cayman Islands Hazard Management, said, “The hurricane passed east of Jamaica attaining Category 5 status and went on to become the strongest, costliest and deadliest storm of the season.”
Matthew triggered severe weather warnings for the Sister Islands, but Little Cayman and Cayman Brac did not sustain damage.
He added, “Hurricane Matthew now goes into the history books as the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005.”
Tropical Storm Earl also led to a tropical storm watch for the islands. Mr. Bozall writes, “The effects from this system were minimal, with the heavy rain associated with the storm passing just south of Grand Cayman.”
The season also produced two out-of-season storms, with Hurricane Alex in January and Tropical Storm Bonnie in May.
Cayman remains on track for its driest year on record, according to the National Weather Service.