Updated: TS Franklin forms, heads for Mexico

Waves battered the George Town waterfront Monday. – Photo: Charles Duncan

A tropical wave that pelted Cayman with high winds and some rain Sunday turned into Tropical Storm Franklin overnight and moved toward Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

The storm’s development occurred just as the system passed over the Cayman Islands vicinity, but its formation occurred much more quickly than forecasters had predicted.

As of midday Sunday, the wave was moving west-northwest over the Caribbean Sea. It was expected to reach Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula either late Monday or early Tuesday.

U.S. National Hurricane Center forecasters gave the wave a 80 percent chance of turning into a storm within 48 hours of Sunday morning and an 90 percent chance of forming within the next five days.

Winds just below tropical storm force (40 miles per hour) were measured just northeast of the wave’s center.

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Local forecasters expected clouds and showers in the Cayman area, with some becoming heavy downpours on Sunday and Monday.

Fifteen- to 20-knot winds were expected to make for rough sea conditions, bringing wave heights to 4 to 6 feet. Small craft were advised to exercise caution in open waters through Monday.

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