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: 10pm – Tropical Depression Grace has increased slightly in speed and is now moving toward the west at near 14 miles per hour, as it continues in the general direction of the Cayman Islands.
The depression, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11pm ET advisory, is located 100 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and 270 miles east of Montego Bay, Jamaica.
“Grace is forecast to move near the Cayman Islands Tuesday night and then approach the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday,” the NHC said.
Tropical storm conditions are expected along the southern coast of Cuba within the warning area on Tuesday, and over the Cayman Islands beginning late Tuesday into early Wednesday, the NHC said.
The tropical depression is set to continue on its earlier projected track of a general westward to west-northwestward motion, which is expected for the next several days.
“On the forecast track, the center of Grace will continue to move near or over the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti during the next couple of hours, and then move between southeastern Cuba and Jamaica on Tuesday,” the NHC said.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Grace is forecast to become a tropical storm on Tuesday.
“Further strengthening is anticipated before Grace approaches the coast of Mexico in a few days,” the Miami-based center said.
Update: 4:30pm – Tropical Depression Grace is continuing to track generally in the direction of the Cayman Islands and is expected to regain Tropical Storm status Tuesday as it strengthens over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
The National Weather Service, in its advisories, has said the onset of tropical storm force winds is expected for the Sister Islands at 8pm Tuesday evening, and 3am on Wednesday morning for Grand Cayman.
“Closest point of approach is forecast to be directly over Little Cayman at 11 pm on Tuesday and for Grand Cayman the closest point of approach is 45 miles north northeast at 3 am Wednesday morning,” Cayman Islands Hazard Management posted on its official Facebook page Monday afternoon.
Grace continues on forecast track
The National Hurricane Center in Miami, in its latest advisory, said Grace is 50 miles south of Port-au-Prince and 365 miles east of Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The tropical depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 miles per hour and is expected to regain storm strength Tuesday.
“Grace could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula
of Mexico Wednesday night,” the NHC said.
A west to west-northwest motion is expected during the next few days and on the
forecast track, the centre of Grace will move near the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti through Monday night.
The tropical depression is expected to move between Jamaica and southeastern Cuba on Tuesday, near the Cayman Islands Tuesday night, and approach the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico Wednesday and Wednesday night.
A Government Information Services statement Monday afternoon said shelters are being readied across all three islands as a precaution.
The Aston Rutty Centre will open, as will the Public Works Department Building which is the only shelter in Little Cayman, for emergency shelter use.
Shelters being readied in Grand Cayman
- Red Cross Headquarters on Huldah Avenue, George Town
- Sir John A. Cumber Primary School Hall in West Bay
- Clifton Hunter High School in North Side;
- East End Civic Centre
- Theoline McCoy Primary School, Bodden Town
- John Gray High School gymnasium in George Town.
- Note: Both John Gray and Clifton Hunter High Schools are pet friendly (for cats and dogs).
The Cayman Islands Humane Society is appealing for public help to get as many animals out of the shelter and into foster homes as possible.
“Ideally we would ask for our dogs and puppies to be fostered until the weekend. And our cats, at least one week, preferably 2, as moving and settling into new environments is usually harder on them,” the local animal charity posted on Facebook, adding forms are available at the shelter sign up to assist.
Original story: The Cayman Islands has been placed under a tropical storm warning, according to a statement from Hazard Management on Monday.
That means sustained winds of 35 miles-per-hour are expected to impact the Cayman Islands within 36 hours, with the closest point of approach expected 15 miles from Cayman Brac at 1am, Wednesday.
HMCI, in a statement Monday, said, the decision to issue the warning was taken following a meeting of the Chair of the National Hazard Management Council, acting Deputy Governor Gloria McField-Nixon, the Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the Director General of the Cayman Islands National Weather Service.
“Intensification is forecast, and the Cayman Islands National Weather Service is calling for the Cayman Islands to be impacted by storm force winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour and rainfall totals of up to 6 inches in parts of the Cayman Islands, especially the Sister Islands,” the HMCI statement said.
The National Weather Service, in its morning forecast Monday, said, on the latest forecast track, the center of Grace is expected to pass directly over Little Cayman around midnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.
Grace is forecast to strengthen to a Tropical Strom as it moves north of Jamaica Tuesday morning.
The Cayman Islands can expect partly cloudy skies with a 20% chance of showers at daytime, becoming overcast with scattered thunderstorms by night.
“Showers will be heavy at times along with flooding of low lying areas. Temperatures will rise to the mid 80’s °F. Winds will be east to northeast 15 to 20 knots at daytime becoming 30 to 35 knots with higher gusts by late night. Slight to moderate with wave heights of 2 to 4 feet at daytime, becoming rough with wave heights of 7 to 9 feet by night,” the forecast said.
A marine warning is in effect from late night, all marine craft should remain in safe harbour.
“A decrease in wind speed is expected from Wednesday morning as Grace moves west of our area. Scattered showers are expected to linger through early Thursday morning,” the NWS said.
A Flood warning and a Marine warning will be in effect for the Cayman Islands for Wednesday 18 August. Rainfall estimates call for 3-5 inches with a possible max of 7 inches. Flooding of low lying area is expected.
Very Rough seas with wave heights of 7 to 9 feet are expected.
When the last update was issued at 7 am, Tropical Depression Grace was located about 125 miles east of Port Au Prince, Haiti and moving west at 15 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 35 mile per hour, the post stated.
Details of the expected sea conditions will be provided in the next update however, HMCI said, persons with marine interests are advised to secure boats and vessels in safe harbour in advance of the storm.
Additional details will be provided shortly.
Grace is moving toward the west near 15 mile per hour.
A westward to west-northwestward motion is expected over the next several days, the National Hurricane Center in Miami has said in its 11am report.
“On the forecast track, the center of Grace will pass near the southern coast of Hispaniola today and tonight, and then pass between Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday,” it said.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts.
Some strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Grace is expected to become a tropical storm again by Tuesday, the NHC has said.
Cayman Airways offers change fee waiver
Cayman Airways Limited has said a change fee waiver has been authorized for passengers with existing tickets for travel between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac or Little Cayman as the country prepares for the passage of Tropical Depression Grace.
In a statement Monday CAL said the waiver will only apply to tickets purchased for travel Monday, 16 Aug. 2021 through Thursday, 19 Aug. 2021.
Any applicable fare difference will apply.
“In the event of flight cancellations or schedule changes, affected passengers will be contacted by CAL directly using the contact details provided to the airline at the time of booking,” the statement said.
The national flag carrier said it is monitoring the progression of Tropical Depression Grace and any potential impacts on the airline’s flight operations.
The Cayman Islands is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning and the airline said, based on projected weather conditions, there may be some schedule changes for existing flights.
“If it becomes necessary to cancel a repatriation flight, then the airline will endeavor to operate a recovery flight when it is safe to do so. Passengers travelling on repatriation flights may voluntarily change their reservations without change fees. However, passengers should consider that seats on alternate repatriation flights may not always be available,” it said.