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 10:15pm 26 Aug.: Tropical Storm Ida is expected to pass over the Cayman Islands in a few hours and is currently located 65 miles southeast of Grand Cayman.
The storm has slowed slightly and is now moving northwest at 12 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts, based on the data from the latest US National Hurricane Center advisory.
— Cayman Compass (@cayCompass) August 27, 2021
Tropical-storm-force winds are extending outward up to 70 miles from the centre, the NHC said.
The Cayman Islands National Weather Service, in its 10pm update, said, on the forecast track, the centre of Ida will pass near or over the Cayman Islands during the next few hours, the Isle of Youth and western Cuba Friday, and over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday.
“The system is forecast to approach the U.S. northern Gulf coast on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Ida is forecast to become a hurricane over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in a day or two with additional strengthening expected thereafter,” it added.
Both a flood and marine warning remain in effect for the Cayman Islands.
Original story: The US National Hurricane Center has upgraded Tropical Depression 9 to Tropical Storm Ida, which is now located 130 miles from Grand Cayman.
The NHC, in an updated advisory at 4:30pm, said Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft data indicated that the tropical depression had strengthened to a tropical storm.
The maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 40 miles per hour, with higher gusts.
The system is moving toward the northwest at a speed of 14 mph, and this general motion should continue over the next few days. Tropical storm conditions are expected in Grand Cayman starting at 11pm.
Rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, are expected across the Cayman Islands and western Cuba, including the Isle of Youth, the NHC said.
Further details are expected from the NHC, as well as the Cayman Islands National Weather Service.
Several businesses and government offices shut their doors earlier on Thursday in anticipation of the storm, following the issuing of a tropical storm warning at 10am.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is advising members of the public to be off the streets by sundown wherever possible.
Earlier on Thursday, Cayman Airways cancelled its Kingston repatriation flights KX3600 and KX3601, due to inclement weather in Jamaica.
“CUC has no plans to cut off the power unless weather conditions heighten and it is absolutely necessary to do so”
It added that its La Ceiba repatriation flights KX3880 and KX3881 operated as scheduled.
The national flag carrier said it will operate recovery flights for cancelled operations as soon as it is safe to do so, and affected passengers will be advised accordingly.
Meanwhile, Caribbean Utilities Company has dismissed rumours of a looming service interruption.
“Cayman, rest assured that despite rumours circulating, CUC has no plans to cut off the power unless weather conditions heighten and it is absolutely necessary to do so,” the utilities company said in a social media post Thursday.
A government statement Thursday afternoon said that, with 8 inches of rainfall forecast over the next two days and wave heights potentially reaching 10 feet, the National Weather Service has already issued flood and marine warnings.
The National Emergency Operations Centre, which brings together emergency response agencies from across government and private partners, is expected to partially activate overnight.
Three shelters, at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School, the Red Cross headquarters on Huldah Avenue, and Clifton Hunter High School in Frank Sound, were scheduled to open at 4pm.
Clifton Hunter is an animal shelter, while the other two are emergency medical centres.
Additional shelters will be open as needed, National Hazard Management Council chairman Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said.