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Outer shower bands from Tropical Storm Elsa may cause flooding in low lying areas across all three of Cayman’s islands, weather forecasters say, and a flood warning is in effect for the Sister Islands.
In a severe weather notification issued at 10am Sunday, 4 July, forecasters at the Cayman Islands National Weather Service warned of “locally heavy showers over the Sister Islands Sunday afternoon” that would spread to Grand Cayman later in the evening.
“Elsa has produced localized heavy showers that has resulted in flooding from Grenada to Jamaica, and the current models show that we can expect a similar situation here in Cayman,” said Meteorologist Gilbert Miller.
The weather notification warns of 20-30mm of rainfall on Sunday and up to 35mm on Monday.
“The recent down pour of rain was less than this and we saw where it caused localized flooding in low lying areas,” said Miller. “These are rather conservative figures and we are currently reviewing them to determine if we should increase the amounts.”
Elsa formed of the coast of western Africa on Monday as a tropical disturbance. It would go on to develop into a tropical storm by Wednesday.
On Friday, Elsa developed into the first hurricane of the 2021 season.
Elsa’s hurricane status was short lived, as forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, downgraded the system to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon.
Miller said a cold front from the southern US coast has entered the central Caribbean, and its interaction with Elsa has caused the system to weaken and veer in a north-westerly direction.
“Elsa is moving very slow and is likely to pass the Sister Islands this afternoon, at which time we expect swells along the north-west coasts of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,” said Miller.
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman remained under tropical storm watch, according to the National Hurricane Center’s Sunday morning update.
A small craft warning has been issued.
In its afternoon forecast, the NWS called for rough seas with wave heights of 4 to 6 feet.