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Tropical Depression a threat to Cayman


By Alan Markoff,

Wednesday 5th November, 2008   Posted: 17:25 CIT   (22:25 GMT)

Invest 93L turned into Tropical Depression 17 Wednesday afternoon and is forecasted to pass close to Cayman as a hurricane Saturday or Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami upgraded the system to a tropical cyclone at 4pm today after an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter found it had enough organised convection and low–level circulation to be considered a tropical depression.

As of 4pm, TD 17 was moving northwest at about five miles per hour. The NHC stated a slow northwest to north movement was expected during the next day or two. However, the tropical depression is expected turn northeast and accelerate later this week.

The official NHC track has the storm passing just to the southeast of Grand Cayman as a Category 1 storm with winds of about 86. However, two of the major computer models forecast the storm to become a major hurricane before crossing Cuba. Other models keep the storm below hurricane strength, but the NHC said those models “seemed a little underdone”.

If and when the maximum sustained winds of TD 17 reach 39 mph or above, will become Tropical Storm Paloma, the 16th named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Basin hurricane season.

Regardless, the Cayman Islands can expect large amounts of rain through the weekend. The Cayman Islands National Weather Service continued its severe weather advisory and warned that flooding is expected in low–lying areas.

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