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Home / Lead Stories / Hurricane half-time report: Peak season soon come

Hurricane half-time report: Peak season soon come


Cayman’s hurricane season has reached half time trouble free – but weather experts warn it’s the latter stages we need to watch out for. 

People don’t need to be reminded it was in September when Hurricane Ivan struck – and according to the Director General of the National Weather Service, John Tibbetts, it’s the coming weeks we need to be prepared for. 

“Peak of the hurricane season is usually around Sept. 11,” said Mr. Tibbetts.  

“For the seasonal prediction to be accurate we will likely see a fairly significant increase in the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes.” 

But he says right now, there is no indication any of these will threaten Cayman. 

So far, we have seen six named storms in the region, but no hurricanes and no major hurricanes.  

Weather forecasts this season from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate between 11 and 17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes. 

Mr. Tibbetts added: “The forecast for this season was for a near average season and the numbers actually look a bit lower although we still have not reached the peak of the hurricane season yet.” 

In recent days weather has deteriorated, but no weather warning for Cayman was issued. 

“Over this past weekend we had a strong tropical wave coming across the central Caribbean,” said Mr. Tibbetts. 

“This wave was upgraded to tropical storm Franklin Sunday night as it passed south of the Cayman area. No tropical storm watches or warnings were issued for the Cayman Islands due to the distance from Cayman and the path it took.” 

In recent years, Cayman has seen a handful of hurricanes hit.  

In September 1955, Hurricane Hilda saw winds of more than 55 miles per hour hit Cayman.  

In November 2008, Hurricane Paloma caused severe damage to the Sister Islands but Grand Cayman escaped relatively unscathed.  

Cayman Brac sustained the most severe impact, with 71 homes destroyed and 912 damaged. Although all homes on Little Cayman were affected, none experienced major damage. Bodden Town was the only district on Grand Cayman reporting damage, with 11 homes affected.  

Roughly 400 power poles fell during the storm. Telecommunications experienced similar damage, with landline services disrupted for two to three weeks.  

And in September 2004, Hurricane Ivan struck. 

Winds and storm surge were so strong that a quarter or more of the buildings on the islands were reported to be uninhabitable, with 85 percent damaged to some extent.  

Much of Grand Cayman still remained without power, water, or sewage services several months later.  

About Paul Kennedy

During a career that spans almost three decades, Paul has covered some of the biggest stories in the world for regional and national newspapers. A multi-award winning journalist and published author, he has worked for the past six years producing television news and documentaries in Cayman. Paul is also the host of a weekly football show. His dream story is to find a dog that can play piano.

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