Eta could make turn toward Cayman tonight

Eta is forecast to approach the Cayman Islands and western or central Cuba this weekend. Photo: National Hurricane Center

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.

Watches and warnings

•Small-craft warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands
•A flood warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands
•NWS issued a strong winds advisory

Forecasters continue to project a northeast turn for tropical depression Eta later Thursday and Friday morning, putting Cayman in the path of the weather system which is expected to re-intensify when it leaves Central America.

The depression was 497 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman as of 3am Thursday. It’s moving west-northwest at eight miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.

A west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected Thursday, the Miami-based NHC said, with a turn toward the north, and then toward the northeast, forecast to occur Thursday night and Friday.

A flood warning and small craft warning remain in effect for Cayman and the Cayman Islands National Weather Service Thursday morning issued a strong winds advisory.

“On its current forecast, Eta is expected to pass about 79 miles northwest of Grand Cayman, 146 west northwest of Cayman Brac, on Saturday afternoon, briefly bringing tropical force winds across Grand Cayman,” the NWS said.

Eta’s path, it said, will result in increased wind speeds to near gale-force conditions of 25-30 knots across the islands.

In its 6am forecast outlook, the National Weather Service said a deterioration in local weather conditions is expected from Friday evening into Saturday morning as Eta re-emerges over the Gulf of Honduras and be west of Grand Cayman by Saturday.

“Torrential showers and flooding is very likely for Friday with an increase of winds to tropical-storm strength leading to very rough seas,” it added.

The NHC said Eta will likely degenerate to a trough of low pressure Thursday morning. However, re-intensification is forecast once the storm’s centre moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

Cayman and portions of Cuba, the NHC said, can expect 10 to 20 inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum totals of 30 inches through Monday morning.

“Significant, life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding is possible in the Cayman Islands and Cuba. Flash flooding and river flooding is expected for Jamaica
and southeast Mexico,” according to the NHC update.

The National Weather Service, in its forecast, said Cayman can expect intermittent showers along with fresh to strong east to southeasterly winds and rough seas over the next few days.

Radar images show scattered showers in and around the Cayman area which are moving towards the west.

Wave heights around the Cayman Islands are projected to increase from five to seven feet Thursday, to six to eight feet Friday and eight to 10 feet on Saturday.

A marine warning is expected to be in effect from Friday evening.

Eta, one of the most powerful storms to strike Central America in years, hit Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane before weakening as it swept over neighboring Honduras. Across swathes of Nicaragua and Honduras, the storm has damaged homes, roads and bridges, forcing thousands of people to flee to shelters.

At least five people have died as a result of the storm and dozens of fishermen were left stranded in the Atlantic, according to Reuters.

Eta is the 28th named tropical storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, tying a record set in 2005, the NHC said.




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