Tropical Storm Nana nears Cayman with heavy rain

Belize under hurricane watch

National Hurricane Center's forecast for Tropical Storm Nana as of 5pm EDT Tuesday

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Tuesday evening update:

Tropical Storm Nana is forecast to pass 150 miles south of Grand Cayman on Wednesday morning and residents should continue to monitor the progress of the storm.

As Nana nears Belize, forecasters expect the storm to reach hurricane strength. Residents of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan should remain alert. The US National Hurricane Center warned of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and very heavy rainfall likely causing flash floods.

The center placed the Caribbean coast of Honduras and the Bay Islands under tropical storm watches. Belize has been placed under both a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch.

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Locally, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service anticipated an increase in cloudiness and rain starting this evening. Between 0.5 and 1 inch of rainfall is expected in association with Nana. Showers could become locally heavy and flooding may occur in low-lying areas, the weather service advised. Winds in Cayman are forecast to reach 10 to 15 knots, with higher gusts accompanied by heavy showers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nana remained more than 200 miles southeast of Grand Cayman and was moving westward at 18 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds had reached 50 mph.

The National Emergency Management Organization of Belize issued a hurricane watch for Belize and advised Nana was forecast to make landfall there on Thursday as a category 1 hurricane. The Belizean disaster organisation expected its next advisory to declare a hurricane warning, meaning a hurricane is expected to make landfall within 24 hours.

The Central American country activated its emergency operations centre and government held a virtual meeting to assess public health and disaster protocol.

“Government ministries are at this time in transition where only essential staff engaged in the ministry emergency plan and those who will work NEMO duties should return to work,” a NEMO press released said Tuesday. “Don’t panic Belize. We have faced tropical cyclones many times before. The bigger threat is COVID-19. We must wear our masks, social distance and clean our hands …”

Nana was one of two tropical storms that became active on 1 Sept. Tropical Storm Omar formed east of the US East Coast and was forecast to track northeast over Bermuda.

Tuesday afternoon update:

Tropical Storm Nana is now forecast to develop into a hurricane as it passes through the western Caribbean, south of Jamaica, and approaches the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan, according to the latest bulletin from the US National Hurricane Center.

While the storm is forecast to pass south of the Cayman Islands, Hazard Management Cayman Islands warned that some uncertainty remains with the system’s path. The NHC currently estimates a 10-20% probability that Grand Cayman will experience tropical-storm-force winds. The Sister Islands have from a 5-10% probability.

The system is currently moving west at 16 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Continued strengthening is expected.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service forecasts heavy rainfall beginning later this afternoon, which could lead to flooding of low-lying areas.

Original story:

A well-organised tropical wave south of Jamaica has begun producing tropical-storm-force winds, according to the US National Hurricane Center’s Tuesday morning forecast.

The system is forecast at an 80% chance of tropical formation over the next two days. A potential tropical cyclone or tropical cyclone advisory could be announced by the National Hurricane Center later today.

While the storm does not yet have a defined circulation centre, residents of the Cayman Islands should continue to monitor the progress of the disturbance. Cayman’s National Weather Service forecasts an increase in showers, locally heavy at times, beginning Tuesday afternoon, as well as isolated thunderstorms. There could be 0.5 to 1 inch of rainfall which could lead to some local flooding.

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“Ship observations indicate that tropical-storm-force winds are occurring in the northern portion of wave to the southeast of Jamaica, which will spread near or just south of Jamaica later this morning and into this afternoon,” the National Hurricane Center wrote.

“Environmental conditions are expected to become a little more conducive for development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form during the next day or so before the system reaches Central America Wednesday night.”

Heavy rains are expected to impact Jamaica, as well as northern Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and the Yucatan Peninsula.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft was en route to investigate the disturbance this morning.

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