The National Weather Service Annual Report
Because weather and climate play such a significant part in human activity, providing timely and accurate weather warnings and forecasts is one of the most important functions of every National Meteorological Service (NMS). This function also gets the most attention from decision makers and the public. Indeed, because of the significant improvement in safety, and protection of property through timely and accurate weather information, forecasts and climatological data, national governments worldwide view the National Weather Services as public goods and continue to finance and support them.
Weather information provided on a daily basis meets a broad spectrum of local and national needs such as:
- Early Warning for Natural Disaster Mitigation (For the Cayman Islands: Hurricanes, Thunderstorms, Flood Producing Rain)
- Information on changes in weather to help the public in planning daily personal & social activities
- Advice for sustaining and improving environmental quality
- Day to day up to seasonal and climate forecasts and other products in support of weather sensitive economic sectors
All user groups rely heavily on this broad range of services to make sound decisions concerning public safety and cost Ė efficiency.
Government policy makers, international agencies and other individuals use products and services from National Weather Services in support of such areas as
- Energy and Water Resources Management
- Recreation and Tourism
- Health Services
- Urban Design & Transport
- Commerce & Trade
The information that the service provides is widely utilized not only by the national public but also other International interests.
Administration and Equipment
The National Weather Service is operated by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), with the responsibility for the monitoring of meteorological events and provision of meteorological information. A good example of this would be the upper air station providing critical information to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida for hurricane forecasting and tracking. This system had received damage during the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The system was returned to full operation in June. The weather observations from the service are sent to Washington, DC and then into a worldwide network for the purpose of planning aeronautical flights. The data is also input into Numerical Weather Prediction Models, which in turn use the data to produce global forecast maps for prediction of such events as flooding, drought and other severe weather.
The serviceís operation includes an Upper-Air Station, Surface Weather Observations, Climatology and Forecasting. The service now has at its disposal one of the most advanced International Satellite communication systems (ISCS) for the purpose of receiving and disseminating the weather observations to the regional center in Washington, and on to the rest of the world. This system also provides weather charts, facsimile weather charts and various alphanumeric along with other data from numerical weather prediction models. This system received an upgrade during the past year. Another valuable piece of equipment is a high-resolution satellite system that continuously receives and displays visible and infrared satellite pictures at resolutions of one and four kilometers, respectively. This satellite system is extremely valuable the monitoring of development of weather systems. The weather service also has at its disposal an automatic weather station to provide automated measurement of meteorological elements such as temperature, humidity, wind and pressure.
Staffing and Training
The office began the year with a staff of eleven officers; one trainee, two fully trained entry-level technicians (Observers), four mid level technicians (Climatologists and instrument specialist), three-senior technicians (Forecasters), a Chief Meteorologist and the Senior Manager of Meteorological Services. The staff currently operates a service for 17 hours daily with a 24-hour service envisaged for the future. Rapid advances in information and communication technology today have led to continuous improvements and refinement in weather forecasting and observing. As a result, regular training of staff is required to stay abreast of latest technological developments, operational techniques and research. The trainee is currently waiting to take examinations to complete his training to entry level technician. The Chief Meteorologists is continuing an online course for a Bachelorís in Geosciences with a major in Operational Meteorology. Two senior technicians are currently sitting a Bachelorís in Meteorology at the University of West Indies in Barbados.
The staff of the National Weather Service: Senior Director of Meteorological Services, Mr Fred Sambula.
The staff of the National Weather Service: Senior Technicians from left to right - Mr Kerry Powery, Mr John Tibbetts (Chief Meteorologist), Mr Avalon Porter and Mr Allen Ebanks
The staff of the National Weather Service: Mid-Level Technicians from left to right - Mrs. Sharon Ebanks, Mr. Floyd Webb, Gilbert Miller, Winston Gall; Entry level technicians Mr. Joel Rivers and back row Mr. Limardo Scott.
The 2006 hurricane season had 14 named storms, of which 4 became hurricanes with 2 of those becoming major hurricanes with wind speeds of 110 mph or greater. Long-term averages call for 10 named storms of which 6 are hurricanes with 3 major hurricanes i.e. category 3 and higher or wind speeds greater than 110 mph. For the season 2 hurricanes threatened the Cayman Islands; Hurricane Dean and Felix.
Weather charts indicate that on August 13th the fourth tropical depression of the 2007 hurricane season formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Depression #4 would become Tropical Storm Dean 10 a.m. August 14th as it moved 1490 east of the Lesser Antilles. The storm would continue to strengthen and reach hurricane strength 4 a.m. August 16th when it was 485 miles east of Barbados. The Cayman Islands issued a Hurricane Watch for Hurricane Dean 10 a.m. August 18th when Dean moved to 15.7 N 68.6 W or 565 miles east-southeast of Jamaica. The Hurricane Watch was upgraded to a Hurricane Warning 10 p.m. August 18th.
Tropical Storm force winds began to affect the Sister Islands 10 p.m. August 19th and Grand Cayman 1 a.m. the following morning. The hurricane passed within 107 miles south of Grand Cayman 7 a.m. August 20th. The storm became the first category 5 system of the year. Tropical Storm force winds ceased in the Sister Islands 10 a.m. August 20th and in grand Cayman 4 p.m. August 20th. The Hurricane produced a 1 to 3 foot storm surge and 7 to 9 feet of waves in the Sister Islands and 4 to 6 feet storm surge and 10 to 12 feet waves in Grand Cayman. Minimal damage was reported with Grand Cayman receiving damage from wave action along the south coast.
Weather charts indicate that on August 31st the sixth tropical depression of the 2007 hurricane season formed near 11.8 N 58.6 W or 180 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands. The depression strengthened to Tropical Storm Felix 4 a.m. September 1st when the system was near 12.4 N 62.0 W or 30 miles northwest of Grenada and reached hurricane strength 7 p.m. September 1st when it was near 12.6 N 66.0 W or 270 miles east of Aruba. The Cayman Islands issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Grand Cayman only 10 a.m. September 2nd. The Tropical Storm Watch was discontinued 7 p.m. September 3rd. The storm passed 338 miles south of Grand Cayman as a category IV storm.
The Cayman Islands received no damage from Hurricane Felix but cloudiness and showers spread across Grand Cayman with an accumulation of 1.08 inches recorded on September 4th.
The average annual temperature was 28.0 deg. C/ 82.5 deg. F. The highest monthly average temperature recorded was 30.3 deg. C/ 86.6 deg. F during the month of July with the lowest monthly average of† 26.7 deg. C/ 80.0 deg. F occurring in the month of February.
Highest recorded temperature occurred on August 2nd was 33.3 deg. C/ 92.0 deg. F - Lowest recorded was 18.4 deg. C/ 65.2 deg. F on April 18th. The warmest month was July.
The warmest day was July 11th and 24th with an average of 30.9 deg. C/ 87.6 deg. F. The coolest day was February 19th, with the average of 22.6 deg. C/ 72.6 deg. F. The coolest month was February.
Rainfall totaled 1337.9 mm/ 53.11 ins., which is 3.30 inches lower than the normal of 56.41 inches. The wettest month was October with 336.5 mm/ 13.25 inches recorded.† The driest month was Febuary with 6.6 mm/ 0.26 of an inch recorded. The most rainfall in a 24-hour period was 82.3 mm/ 3.24 ins. on October 9th.
There were 185 days free of rainfall and 180 days on which rainfall was recorded.† There were 46 days on which thunder occurred.
The average barometric pressure was 29.94 ins/ 1014.0 Millibars. The highest pressure was 1023.8 Millibars/ 30.23 inches on February 19th, while the lowest was below 1004.3 Mb/ 29.65 inches on October 31st when Hurricane Wilma passed southwest of Grand Cayman.
The average wind was from the East-southeast at 09 knots with March being the windiest month.
Annual average humidity was 77% with the highest monthly average of 81% recorded in October and the lowest of 74% in July.The most humid days were October 11th with a very muggy 92%, while November 8th with 61% was the lowest.
There were 1 clear day, 230 partly cloudy days and 134 cloudy.
Last Updated: 2008-02-05