Sister Islands all clear but more rain expected

| 02/07/2021 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service
All-clear flag at the Edward Bodden Airfield on Little Cayman

(CNS) UPDATED Monday: The all clear was issued for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on Monday as Tropical Storm Elsa passed about 90 miles north of the Brac early this morning. Assessment teams have confirmed that no damage was caused in the Sister Islands. Although the storm watch has been lifted, the forecast for all three Cayman Islands calls for heavy rain today. Cloudy, rainy conditions associated with Elsa will continue across the area until tonight. Showers may become heavy at times leading to flooding in low lying areas and a small craft warning remains in effect.

UPDATED Sunday 10am: Local weather forecasters said they did not expect winds from Tropical Storm Elsa to impact the Sister Islands as it passes to the east late tonight or early tomorrow morning but that all three Cayman Islands can expect heavy rain over the next two days and a severe weather notice has been issued. At 10am Sunday Elsa was about 50 miles north of Kingston, heading west-northwest at around 13mph towards Cuba with winds around 60mph. Some strengthening is possible today and tonight but gradual weakening is forecast to occur on Monday when Elsa moves across Cuba.

UPDATED Saturday 7pm: Although Cayman Brac and Little Cayman remain under a tropical storm watch Saturday evening, Elsa is veering away from our area as the storm slowed down a little and tracked between Haiti and Jamaica. Tropical Storm Elsa was located around 40 miles south-southwest of Tiburon, Haiti, at 7pm local time, with maximum sustained winds of 70mph Elsa and moving at around 23 mph west-northwest. The storm is still expected to bring rain and rough seas to the Cayman Islands from Sunday evening but local experts say tropical-force winds are unlikely to impact these islands as further weakening is expected.

Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) has confirmed that due to the latest projected path of Hurricane Elsa, at this time, no changes to the airline’s flight operations are anticipated as a result of this storm.

UPDATED Saturday 10am: The Sister Islands remains under an official tropical storm watch Saturday morning but Elsa was down graded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center. Now located some 350 miles east of Jamaica, winds from TS Elsa have dropped to 70mph as it moves toward the west-northwest at 29mph. A decrease in forward speed is expected later today and on Sunday, followed by a turn toward the northwest Sunday night or Monday. Forecasters do not expect Elsa to strengthen but to gradually weaken on Sunday and Monday as it reaches the Cayman area.

UPDATED 3pm Friday: The Sister Islands have been placed under an official tropical storm watch as Hurricane Elsa moved into the Eastern Caribbean Friday afternoon, packing winds of up to 85mph and still travelling at around 29mph. Local weather forecasters said that on the current forecast track Elsa is moving well north of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. At the present time it is considered unlikely that the islands will experience tropical storm force winds, but there remains some “uncertainty in the forecast track and intensity, so residents should not let their guard down”.

The Sister Islands can expect to begin experiencing rough seas and strong winds from Sunday evening.

10am update: Hurricane Elsa was bearing down on St Vincent at around 10am local time with sustained wind speeds of 75mph, after the storm strengthened this morning to a category 1 hurricane, the first of the Atlantic 2021 season. Tracking quickly west-northwest at 29mph, Elsa remains on track towards the Sister Islands, which remain under a tropical storm alert. Officials said changes to the current alert status may be made later today based on the proximity of the wind field from the hurricane.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service is warning of rough to very rough seas at 9 to 13 feet for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman from Sunday evening. A marine advisory is expected to be in place on Sunday and will increase to a marine warning on Monday. Rain is forecast for both Sunday and Monday, which may lead to flooding of low lying areas.

On Elsa’s current forecast track, the Sister Islands will likely experience strong to possibly near tropical-storm-force winds with higher gusts on Monday. Residents, particularly people in the Sister Islands, should ensure preparedness levels remain high and continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Elsa.

Currently, hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles. The US National Hurricane Center forecasters are calling for a decrease in forward speed in the coming days with little change in strength until Monday, when a decrease in winds is possible.

According to the NHC, Elsa was the fifth named storm of the season before becoming the first hurricane and the earliest ever named ‘E’ cyclone, beating Edouard last year, which formed on 6 July.


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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is ALWAYS better to be prepared for hurricanes!

    Remember in 2004 – hurricane Ivan was going toward Cayman Brac and changed direction at the last minute and headed toward Grand Cayman – which a lot of us were not prepared for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians are the best weathermen in the world.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t panic Capt Mainwaring, Don’t Panic!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Life seemed so much simpler before the information super highway with instant news and updating. Now it just induces panic. Predictions are always doom and gloom because they know one day they will be right. Hurricanes have always been a part of Caribbean life.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I know people who don’t wish to be immersed in the variables that influence tropical cyclones. For some, the more information, the more their stress levels escalate.

      For me, I enjoy the weather talk, and it gives me the illusion of controlling my environment somewhat to measure the variables that influence a TC.

      It is okay to respect the violence of nature.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m a sick fk who actually wanted the storm to get worse because I like the action

        • Anonymous says:

          Why wait on a storm for that?

          Just go pick a fight in Scranton with only your birthday suit on 😘

    • Anonymous says:

      Information superhighway? When did you post this? 1997?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry if the term wasn’t ‘hip’ enough for you, but that was a reference to the beginning and still very relevant. I have been building computers since the eighties, administered Novell networks and learned programming in basic. I am in my sixties and can still run rings around many so called ‘IT’ experts! Unfortunately the very things that were designed to unify like social media are now destroying IT. People have forgotten how to communicate by phone and believe almost anything published on very public forums. People will default to unreliable sources if they have the ingredient of sensationalism. News media uses bait traps to keep you with them. Ever noticed ‘and after the break some news on cancer causing foods you might be eating tonight……’. We are raising the next generation to be dumbasses.

      • Anonymous says:

        I just wish I could go & drive on a super highway.

  5. gabriel says:

    i live in bonaire next to curacua and aruba

  6. Anonymous says:

    The earth is getting hotter and hotter.

    • Anonymous says:

      Think this year has been hottest yet.. Where did the xmas breezes go even.

    • Anonymous says:

      No its not. The earth is doing its natural thing as always. Check History.

      • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

        You are right about the documented cycles, but few, if any, will do due diligence and research it.

        So much more fun to vilify various political pundits.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because that’s a correct statement but you’re not including the fact that global warming is making it even worse so if you’re gonna say one thing you must also tell the other part of the story.

          • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

            I’m sorry. I really tried to understand what you are saying, but I am falling short. I like measurable data. If you don’t, that is fine. If you also like measurable data, then I don’t understand you.

            No worries. Be safe.

            • Anonymous says:

              Are you saying that human activity has no observable affect on the global climate? How can you live on an island with a trash mountain…never mind. I’m not holding your hand.

              there is a plethora of “measurable data” indicating that humans as well as other species are capable of and already have had drastic long term effects on the climate. Why you choose to cherry pick what data matches your narrative, who knows. It’s weird.

              • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

                No. I’m saying that human beings screw up the environment every. single. place. they congregate. We pollute everything we touch and the more of us that live together in close proximity, the worse it is for the environment.

                In addition to that deleterious effect upon the surface of the Earth, there are well-documented cycles, both in the ENSO cycle and solar min and max. Those do far more to the surface of the Earth than people. That isn’t to say that we don’t have a LOT to answer for, because we do.

                I don’t cherry pick. I have been a scientist for most of my life and I insist upon measurable data. What I don’t believe in is science by consensus. Science is a series of steps which tests hypotheses and experimental data. “Everybody knows” doesn’t cut it for me, and it shouldn’t cut it for you. You should do your own research and vet your sources yourself, and make informed decisions, rather than following the herd.

                Crowds lose their minds and their intelligence. Make informed decisions based upon vetted data. You’ll sleep better.

                I am not an environmentalist. I am a conservationist, and when we can clean up our messes as fast as we can make them, then and only then will we be evolved. Be well. Thanks for the conversation.

      • Hubert says:

        Perhaps you should check the temperatures the past week in the North West U.S. and British Columbia in Canada. Perhaps you need to check history. The earth certainly is not doing its natural thing.

        50 F in Canada is not natural.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure? Were you here in 1759? Very hot that year too.

  7. Hubert says:

    This one will miss us but the big one is coming in September. The Atlantic water temperatures are at record high warm temperatures for July. Very concerning.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Worth keeping an eye on, especially in the Sister islands.

    But nearly all the models are predicting the storm encountering a weakening in the ridge to the north that is currently forcing the storm in a WNW direction, around halfway through Cuba. This will pull a stronger storm through it and to the N, or NNW away from Cayman.

    Only the GFS and another model still show that this weakening in the ridge will not be sufficient to pull the storm north and shows a small storm passing just north of the Brac.

    The NHC track is the average of these models, and after 3 days, they really have no idea.

    Once the Hurricane Hunter plane has visited and collected its latest data, the models at 16.00 will be more reliable.

    You should also remember that if you are south of the storm, things a great deal better. Charlie passed Cayman the same distance as Ivan, but to the North, and we felt nothing.

    The wind speeds given also include the forward motion of the storm, so the max wind speed is measured in the Northwest quarter of a northern hemisphere storm.

    A fast moving storm like Elsa, has currently 85mph winds, but is moving at 30mph WNW.
    So if the winds are 85mph in the North west quadrant, the Southwest area that may approach the Brac are only currently 25 Mph.

    Basically the wind speed of Elsa is 55mph, its forward motion means the winds on the north are 85mph (55 +30mph forward speed), on the south, as the winds are anti-clockwise the forward speed act against and lower the wind speed felt to 25 (55-30 forward speed).

    Fast moving storms are therefor far more dangerous to the north of the centre than to the South

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