Saturday 5 December, 2020

Tropical storm conditions expected in Cayman today; 2-4 inches of rain

Tropical Storm Laura is gaining in strength and right in the vicinity of the Cayman Islands.

According to the NHC, the tropical storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by early Tuesday before moving into the Gulf States.

The following information was provided by the NHC at its 5 am update.

Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread westward within the warning area in Cuba through today.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in Little Cayman and Cayman Brac by this afternoon. 

Tropical storm conditions are also expected within the warning area in the Florida middle and Lower Keys and the Dry Tortugas this afternoon and continuing into tonight.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center.

Laura is expected to produce the following storm total rainfall accumulations through Tuesday:

Jamaica and Cuba: 4 to 8 inches, with maximum amounts of 12 inches.

Cayman Islands: 2 to 4 inches, maximum amounts of 6 inches.

Florida Keys, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Northwest Bahamas: 1 to 2 inches.

Across the Greater Antilles this heavy rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash and urban flooding, and the potential for mudslides.

From late Wednesday into Friday, Laura is expected to produce rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15
inches across portions of the west-central U.S. Gulf Coast near the Texas and Louisiana border north into portions of the lower
Mississippi Valley.  This rainfall could cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and the
possibility of some minor river flooding across this region.

Swells generated by Laura are affecting portions of Hispaniola, eastern Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.  These swells are expected to spread across central and western Cuba, the central and northwestern Bahamas, and the Florida Keys today. Please consult products from your local weather office.

The NHC predicts that the center of Laura will move over the Caribbean Sea just offshore the southern coast of Cuba today, and move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday morning. Laura is then forecast to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Meanwhile Marco has weakened back to a tropical storm and is approaching Louisiana.

The National Weather Service, in its 10 pm update last night, on the impact of the storm on Grand Cayman, advised as follows:

Over Grand Cayman, conditions are expected to be bit more 
subdued with tropical storm laura expected to pass about 
169 miles north-northeast of grand cayman at its closest 
point of approach at around 10 am tomorrow morning. the 
winds direction is expected to be northwesterly tonight, 
backing towards the southwest at 15 to 20 knots with higher 
gust by tomorrow morning, becoming southerly 15 to 20 knots 
by tomorrow evening. higher gust are also likely in and 
around heavy showers.  

Rainfall estimates for grand cayman suggest accumulations of 
1 to 3 inches are likely through tomorrow evening. showers 
may be locally heavy at times.

Seas of Grand Cayman are expected to be slight to moderate 
with wave heights of 2 to 4 feet and become rough with wave 
heights of 5 to 7 feet in and around heavy showers over the 
next 24 hours. while the risk to marine interests in grand 
cayman might be low at this time, extra caution should be 
taken through the next 24 hours.

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