First named storm of season forms

Subtropical Storm Alberto as of Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. - Source: U.S. National Hurricane Center

Subtropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the year, is tracking through the northern Caribbean after forming Friday near the Yucatan Peninsula.

This is the fourth consecutive year in which at least one storm has formed before the start of hurricane season on June 1.

Alberto is bringing scattered showers in and around the Cayman area as it moves northward, according to the Cayman Islands National Weather Service.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, issued advisories on the storm, which by Sunday afternoon was moving north at 13 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. A turn toward the north-northwest at a slower forward speed was forecast for Sunday night. Storm or surge warnings were in effect in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas Sunday afternoon.

The storm is expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain to central Cuba through Tuesday, as well as bringing heavy rains to Florida, eastern Alabama and western Georgia.

Winds in Cayman are forecast to be southeast Monday, at 15 to 20 knots, with higher gusts in and around showers. Seas will be rough, with wave heights of 5 to 7 feet, and small craft are advised to exercise caution over open water, local forecasters said.

Similar weather conditions are expected in Cayman through Tuesday morning as Alberto is expected to slowly drift over the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Events canceled or postponed

The wet and windy weather led to the cancelation or postponement of several events in Cayman over the weekend and Monday.

The government’s “Celebrate Cayman” launch ceremony, scheduled for Monday has been postponed until June 4. The ceremony will mark the official start of year-long national celebrations to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Cayman Islands coat of arms.

It will begin at 10 a.m. on the grounds of the Government Administration Building.

“We regret having to postpone the event,” the Celebrate Cayman Project Team said in a press release. “However, we want to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience. We look forward to the public joining us on Monday June 4 to mark this special event, and kick-start a year of celebrations for our Coat of Arms.”

Also canceled over the weekend was the Kirkland Nixon Memorial Fire Truck Pull, which was due to be held at Grand Harbour on Saturday. The fundraiser, organized by the Cayman Islands Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee, now will be held on Saturday, June 2.

Registration for the fire truck pull will remain open until Friday, June 1, and organizers said new teams are encouraged to register. Registration forms be found on the RCIPS website at www.rcips.ky/partnership/special-olympics/.

The Butterfield 800m sea swim, which was scheduled to be held at Seven Mile Beach on Saturday, was also been postponed. Organizers will announce a rescheduled date at a later time.

A car boot sale at the Credit Union parking lot in George Town, to raise funds for the Edna M. Moyle Primary School, which was to be held on Saturday, was also postponed. It has been rescheduled for June 4.

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