Tropical Storm Grace will become a hurricane shortly after reaching the Cayman Island, landfall south of Cancun before it crosses the Bay of Campeche and makes landfall a second time on Mainland Mexico. NOAA NHC Graphic.

7th Named Storm of 2021 Hurricane Season Gains Strength

Tropical Storm Grace is currently over Jamaica and a tropical storm warning encompasses the entire island. Grace has 50 MPH winds and gusts to 65 MPH. After the center moves over the ocean, the storm will begin to strengthen while it travels mainly west. The southeast coast of Cuba is also under a tropical storm warning, while the central and southwest coasts are under a tropical storm watch. Tropical storm conditions could extend to other portions of the southern coast of Cuba.

Above Average 2021 Hurricane Season Forecast

Grace could reach hurricane strength as it passes just to the south of Grand Cayman Island tomorrow (August 18) morning. Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Islands are under a tropical storm warning and storm surge watch. Further strengthening is expected. The National Hurricane Center could issue hurricane warnings in the current tropical storm warning area if Grace undergoes rapid intensification. The Caribbean Sear between Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula have a very high oceanic heat content which contributes energy to the storm. Multiple models agree that Grace will become a hurricane sometime tomorrow.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Yucatan Peninsula from Cancun to Cay Chal, and tropical storm warnings north from Cancun and south from Cay Chal. Grace will make landfall south of Cancun, Mexico as a strong category 1 hurricane or possibly a category 2 hurricane. Grace will bring hurricane force winds and dangerous storm surge to the Yucatan Peninsula beginning late Wednesday night and early morning Thursday.

Residents in the Cayman Islands and Yucatan Peninsula should hurry to complete final preparations before the tropical storm or hurricane arrives.

Key Messages for Tropical Storm Grace. Warnings, Watches for Cayman Islands, Cuba, Cancun, Yucatan.

Tropical Storm Grace Key Messages

From the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida:

Hurricane Conditions are expected in hurricane warning area of the Yucatan Peninsula late on Wednesday and early Thursday.

Heavy rainfall over Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Yucatan Peninsula is likely to cause flash flooding, urban flooding, and small stream flooding. Mudslides are likely to occur in Haiti.

Expect Tropical Storm conditions over portions of Jamaica this evening and over the Cayman Islands tonight and tomorrow. Tropical storm conditions will spread over Cuba in the warning area tonight through Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Grace over Jamaica earlier today before it becomes a hurricane. NOAA Satellite Image

Bay of Campeche and Mexico Mainland

Hurricane Grace will weaken to a tropical storm after landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula. Strengthening is anticipated after it reaches the Bay of Campeche. The storm makes landfall somewhere on the eastern coast of Mexico on August 21st.

Expect tropical storm or hurricane warnings for the coasts of Campeche and Yucatan, and hurricane warnings for the east coast of Mexico. It is currently too far in advance to make accurate predictions about the storm’s landfall on the Mexico mainland.

Hurricane Watches and Tropical Storm Watches are issued by the National Hurricane Center forty-eight hours before the expected arrival of hurricane or tropical storm conditions. Hurricane warnings and tropical storm warnings come thirty-six hours in advance of the hurricane or tropical storm’s arrival.

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center caution that the cone depicted on forecast maps shows the approximate future position of the storm and is not an indication of the storm’s size. A tropical storm or hurricane’s size is often much larger than the projected cone.