Cayman is bracing for a Caribbean cold snap.
The Cayman Islands National Weather Service sent out an advisory Wednesday regarding a seasonal cold front moving over the United States and crossing over the Gulf of Mexico.
The temperature is supposed to be in the low 80s during the day and low 70s overnight for Cayman over the next few days, and forecaster Gilbert Miller said it is the same cold front that is causing the residents of northern Florida to endure a spate of temperatures right above the freezing mark.
“This [system] is particularly strong and particularly cold,” Mr. Miller said.
Both Tallahassee and Jacksonville – two northern Florida population centers – had to deal with frosty temperatures in the 30s on Wednesday. Tallahassee experienced snow, and according to U.S. media reports, it is the first significant accumulation of snow in Florida’s capital city since 1989.
Cayman will feel the cold front in terms of winds and wave heights, and Mr. Miller said this time of year is usually when colder temperatures surface.
“It’s normal,” he said. “We usually get cooler weather in late December, and into January and February you get cold fronts dipping into our area. It coincides with the North American winter season. These cold fronts come over the U.S., and some of them dig down across the Gulf of Mexico into our area.”
Cayman’s forecast for Wednesday called for a 30 percent chance of precipitation, and temperatures in the low to mid-80s, but the winds and waves were expected to strengthen in the evening. Winds could reach 15 to 20 knots with higher gusts and waves could reach four to six feet, according to the forecast. Boaters were advised to exercise caution over open water Wednesday and Thursday.
Those conditions, Mr. Miller said, could last through the end of the week.
“We’re going to be getting northerly winds for the next couple of days,” he said. “The direction is going to bring some swells probably into the harbor. Some rough seas. We don’t expect a lot of cloudiness. But we do expect the temperatures to drop.”
Mr. Miller said the temperature could drop below 70 degrees at night, depending on the amount of cloud cover, but at the moment, he does not expect it to plummet too far. The cold front is still in the early stages, Mr. Miller said, and there may be further developments that are not immediately evident.
“The front itself is just entering the northwest Caribbean,” he said. “It’s expected to pass us today [Wednesday] and stall over Jamaica overnight …. There’s going to be a secondary surge, which is going to push the cold air farther over us from Thursday morning. It’s going to be like that for the next five days.”