Strong and gusty winds forecasted
The 2020 hurricane season continues to throw up surprises and break records.
This time it’s Hurricane Eta which is forecast on a zig-zag path back into the vicinity of the Cayman Islands.
The storm is expected to bring inclement weather to the islands by this weekend.
In a bulletin issued on Thursday afternoon, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service(CINWS) said the official US National Hurricane Centre(NHC) track places Tropical Storm Eta some 79 miles to the W of Grand Cayman, 146 miles WNW of Cayman Brac, by Saturday afternoon and over central Cuba by Sunday morning.
On its current forecast path, Eta is expected to briefly support tropical storm force winds over the Cayman Islands by Saturday afternoon.
Flood and marine warnings have been issued for the Cayman Islands.
Hazard Management Cayman Islands is recommending residents exercise increased caution on flooded roads. Excessive rain has led to numerous potholes opening up, and the flood waters make these more difficult to detect. Periods of torrential rainfall will result in limited visibility on the roads.
Residents are also encouraged to limit travel on the roads to essential journeys from late Friday and into Saturday.
Wave heights are forecast to reach 5 to 7 feet on Friday, and 7 to 9 feet on Saturday. Large waves are expected to begin affecting the west side of Grand Cayman beginning on the weekend (likely Sunday).
A Marine Warning is Effect for Thursday and Friday. All vessels should be in Safe Harbour on Saturday.
Strong and gusty winds (possibly reaching tropical storm force at times) are forecast for late Friday and through Saturday. The saturated state of the ground could lead to a higher likelihood of some trees toppling.
Emergency Shelters remain closed, however the Red Cross Shelter is on standby. Other shelters are being prepared should the need arise as a result of localised flooding.
Residents are urged to continue monitoring official sources of information about this system.
Meanwhile, the Hon. Minister for Education, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, has advised that government schools will close tomorrow, Friday November 6 due to the inclement weather.
A statement for her office said the decision is being taken to close government schools out of an abundance of caution based on the advisory from the CINWS.
It would be the second time Eta will have swept by Cayman, having skirted the islands on Monday around 300 miles to the west on its way to slamming into Nicaragua as a ferocious hurricane.
The storm which had weakened by Wednesday was heading back into the Caribbean Sea after moving over Honduras.
It's forecast to head for south Florida via Cuba coming again uncomfortably close to Cayman en route.
While on Monday it was not regarded as posing a major threat to us, by this weekend its wobbly north-easterly track is likely to cause some jittery moments here.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Eta was expected to head into the Caribbean Sea Friday and move northeastward via Cuba on a path taking it towards south Florida.
If Eta makes landfall along the U.S. coastline, it would bring to 12 the number of storms which will have hit the US is one season, and would break yet another record if it does become a hurricane again.
Forecasters are still uncertain about how much strength Eta will regain once it's over open water again, but are not ruling but the possibility of at least a strong tropical storm or a Category 1 or 2 hurricane.
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