Rough seas, thunderstorms and strong winds are expected to continue in the Cayman Islands for at least the next 24 hours as category three Hurricane Irma passes over Cuba’s north coast.
A small craft warning remains in effect.
The Cayman Islands National Weather Service forecasts cloudy to overcast skies with scattered thunder showers Saturday (9 September) with heavier shower activity and thunder in the Sister islands. These conditions could lead to possible flooding in low-lying areas, according to the NWS.
Temperatures will rise to the mid 80s° with winds out of the southwest between 23 and 28 miles per hour with higher gusts over Grand Cayman. Winds will be southwest at 28 to 34 miles per hour with higher gusts over the Sister Islands. Seas will be rough with wave heights of 6 to 8 feet over Grand Cayman and 7 to 9 feet over the Sister Islands.
Irma is moving toward the west along the north coast of Cuba at about nine miles per hour. A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday (10 September). On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba later today, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.
Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).