Updated: Eta on track to move closer to Grand Cayman

The five-day forecast track of Eta, as of Friday morning. - Image: 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.

Update: 4:30pm: The latest predicted path for Eta, which is currently a tropical depression, shows the system coming within 53 miles of Grand Cayman on Saturday evening.

Earlier models indicated Eta would be around 100 miles from the island.

The tropical depression is currently over the Gulf of Honduras and is moving in an northeasterly direction at 7 miles per hour as it strengthens into a possible tropical storm, the National Weather Service said in its 4pm update.

On its current forecast path, Eta is expected to support tropical-storm-force winds over the Cayman Islands from Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning.

As of 4pm, the system was located 375 miles west to southwest of Grand Cayman, with maximum wind speeds of 35 miles per hour.

A tropical storm warning and a flood warning remain in effect for the Cayman Islands.

“Extreme amounts” of rainfall are expected across the Cayman Islands from tonight and through Saturday, the NWS warned.

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority issued a statement saying, due to the approach of Eta, district health clinics in West Bay, Bodden Town, North Side and East End will close early, at 9am on Saturday. The George Town General Practice Clinic will remain open during its regular hours (walk-ins 8:30am-noon, and appointments 1-4pm). The HSA said patients will be contacted directly to reschedule appointments affected by these closures.

The Cayman Islands Main Pharmacy and Smith Road Centre Pharmacy will remain open regular hours, 8am-5:30pm, and 9am-4:30pm, respectively.

The Cayman Islands Hospital Accident and Emergency unit will continue to operate 24 hours, “but persons are reminded to stay home unless it is a true medical emergency,” the HSA advised.

Update: 10am: The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm warning for the Cayman Islands as storm Eta approaches.

A tropical storm warning means storm conditions are expected in the warning area within 36 hours.

In its 10am bulletin this morning, the NWS said the weather system is now forecast to track about 100 miles to the northwest of Grand Cayman, 137 miles west-northwest of Cayman Brac, by Saturday afternoon and over central Cuba by Sunday morning.

In light of the flood warning in effect, the Postal Service said it would be close all post offices across the three islands from 1pm today. Also, to protect mail from potential water damage, at most of the offices, staff are removing mail from the lower five rows of post office boxes, while at the General Post Office in George Town and on the Sister Islands, all mail will be removed at 1pm.

Closures/Postponements

Post offices close at 1pm today

Ports in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac closed today

 

PwC Junior Circuit Tournament has been postponed until 19-20 Dec.

 

Plastic Free Cayman beach clean-up on Sunday is postponed to 22 Nov.

 

Customs and Border Control’s collections office and warehouse on Owen Roberts Drive will be closed on Saturday. Office hours will resume on 10 Nov.

 

The offices of the Water Authority – Cayman in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac will be closed Friday.

Original story: Storm Eta is expected to bring tropical-storm-force winds to the Cayman Islands by Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service stated in its Friday morning update.

Eta is currently a tropical depression and is located over the Gulf of Honduras. It is expected to move northeast and strengthen into a tropical storm. Earlier this week, the storm, as a Category 4 hurricane, wreaked havoc in Nicaragua and Honduras.

On its current track, Eta is expected to pass about 83 miles northwest of Grand Cayman, and 128 west-northwest of Cayman Brac by Saturday afternoon, before passing over central Cuba by Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service said Eta is expected to “briefly support tropical storm force winds” Saturday.

A tropical storm watch and a flood warning is in effect in Cayman. A tropical storm warning is expected to be issued later this morning.

The NWS is predicting 3-6 inches of rain today and between 5 and 10 inches on Saturday, leading to flooding in low-lying areas.

At 7am, the storm was located about 407 miles west to southwest of Grand Cayman, with maximum winds of 35 mph and is moving north at 7 mph.

The National Weather Service said Cayman will experience overcast skies with torrential rain and intermittent thunderstorms.

Schools throughout Cayman were closed today, and civil servants were being advised to work from home if possible.

Watches and warnings

 

• Tropical storm warning

 

• Marine warning

 

• Flood warning

East to southeasterly winds of 20-25 knots are expected today, increasing to 30 knots tonight. On Saturday morning, southerly winds of 30-35 knots are likely, veering to the west and southwest and increasing to 30 knots, with gusts of 40 knots, by the afternoon.

Wave heights of 5 to 7 are expected today, growing to 7-11 feet tonight. Wave heights on Saturday are predicted to be 8-10 feet.

A small craft warning remains in effect for the Cayman today, and a marine advisory will be issued for tonight and Saturday. All small craft should seek and remain in safe harbor from tonight.

Emergency shelters are on standby if flooding leads to people having to leave their homes, Hazard Management Cayman Islands said.

Ports closed

The Port Authority announced that due to the forecasted weather deterioration, the ports in George Town, Grand Cayman, and Creek, Cayman Brac, will be closed to vessel berthing at its facilities from today until further notice.

The Berkley Bush Cargo Distribution Center on Portland Road and the Billing Office, will be open as normal today, but will not open Saturday. In a statement, the Port Authority said it was encouraging all importers who have goods cleared and ready to collect to do so today if possible. The Cargo Distribution Centre and Billing Office will reopen on Tuesday.

US Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft are scheduled to investigate Eta later today, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, reported.

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