Cayman Islands Avoid Direct Hit From Hurricane

The Cayman Islands have avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Dean, the Atlantic's first hurricane of the season. The center of Dean passed about 125 miles to the south of Grand Cayman, although heavy rain, high winds, dangerous surf and storm surge all impacted the destination on Monday, according to Tim Ballisty, meteorologist for The Weather Channel. Weather conditions were expected to deteriorate over the eastern Yucatan peninsula and northern Belize Monday night ahead of the storm, according to the report on []. The center of the hurricane is expected to make landfall very early Tuesday morning as a destructive category 5 storm north of the border between Belize and the Mexican state of Quintana Roo and just south of Tulum. The resorts of Cancun and Cozumel were not expected to feel major impact as of Monday afternoon, although waves on the order of 18 to 24 feet are expected to crash along the shores and cause severe beach erosion. According to the report, Dean will then cross the Yucatan Peninsula and re-emerge into the Bay of Campeche, which is the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, Tuesday night and make a final landfall somewhere along the mainland Mexican coast sometime on Wednesday.