The last few days Aruba weather has been particularly unstable. There’s been a lot of thunder and lightning. Sometimes without any rain. In other moments it stormed quickly on one side of the island, while on other parts the island remained dry.
Although there wasn’t any tropical cyclone activity near Aruba during this ongoing hurricane season, we had to endure a couple of days with heavy rain. Last weekend was particularly wet and there were some floods in the typical low lying areas and erosion of dirt roads.
I took this picture this morning of a tornado-like system near Malmok Beach
Just a few hours ago I was at Malmok Beach when a weird tornado-like system started. It lasted only a few minutes but I was lucky enough to catch with my mobile phone camera. That thing was awesome. I’ve never really seen one form this nearby. I could see how it was twirling and how it was sucking the water up. As quickly as it started it disappeared as well. It caused no damage.
Expect the weather to remain unstable for the next few days.
I took this picture this morning of a tornado-like system near Malmok Beach
A typical sight around resort during this time of year – off season – is of renovations. Hotels take advantage of the softer occupancy figures to renovate, this way avoiding as the inconvenience to the guests as much as possible. Currently there are several renovations on going, such as at Renaissance, The Mill, Divi Village, Divi All Inclusive, La Cabana, Paradise Beach Villas and Radisson.
Renaissance properties have undergone major renovations the last few years, especially the retail sector. Renaissance Mall and Renaissance Marketplace are looking good as a result. Speaking of Renaissance Mall they, recently changed the opening hours from 8 AM to 6 PM to 10 AM to 8 PM. This is a pretty normal trend. Customers tend to shop more during the 6-8 PM timespan than the 8-10 AM one. In the medium term, the still common Sunday-closure in Aruba is going to cease to exist as well. It’s just a question of time before this happens. On a related note, Renaissance officials announced that Starbucks is going to open an additional coffee shop in Renaissance Marina. Currently Starbucks operated a coffee shop in Renaissance Marketplace.
Painters busy at Renaissance Marina Hotel Aruba
Right now Renaissance Marina building is being taken care off. The efforts are now being concentrated on new tiling and paint job. Mostly cosmetic. I don’t really expect any major structural (noisy) renovation to ruin your vacation.
Last week I noticed a weather system forming in the southern areas of the Atlantic Ocean but it didn’t form into an organized system. It dessolved but the pressure system continued. This was noticeable in Aruba with the unusually cloudy environment and rainy days.
This system continued westward and regained strength and now has organized into a “Tropical Cyclone Formation”. National Hurricane Center expects this system to bring thunderstorms and showers in the selected areas (orange area in the image below). Currently there is a 30% chance for it to form into a “Tropical Cyclone”. Expect rain in Aruba for the next 48 hours.
Weather system forming near Aruba [image by NHC]
Our visitors get cranky when it rains, which is normal. Don’t let this ruin your vacation though. Just keep enjoying it as there are a lot of things you could do when it’s raining. Last year I made a list with Aruba activities, check it out and maybe you can find one that suits you.
Update: Last night it poured heavily, it even woke me up at night. Right now it’s morning and the sun is shining. The latest update shows that the system is moving away from Aruba and the chances for it to grow into a more serious storm has increased to 50% according to the Hurricane Center in Miami.
As hurricane season is underway I notice how the traffic is spiking on information regarding hurricanes and Aruba. People have the tendency to get nervous as their travel time to Aruba is approaching and just wonder about hurricanes.
Thus far hurricane season seems to be relatively calm. Then again, it’s just starting. The best source for news about Aruba storms – apart from this site off course – is the National Hurricane Center. They offer up to date news about all storms.
Flooding in Oranjestad from a storm in October 2008
It’s been about two years that Aruba truly had to deal with rainfall from storms, as you can see in above photograph. It’s been six years since Aruba truly had a hurricane scare when hurricane Ivan passed 180 miles northeast of Aruba as a Category 4 hurricane, on its way to a Category 5 hurricane. I’ve written extensively about storms in the past, just use the search box or follow the tag “tropical storms” to read more about it. Aruba
It’s official, today 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts. It will last through November 30th. Aruba is not in the common hurricane paths, however, we are in the Greater Caribbean, thus in the “area”.
Last year was very calm with just a few named storms and relatively little damage. According to some experts this year may become a more active season than last year.
No activity currently [image by Hurricane Center]
I’ve written in details about this weather phenomenon throughout the years. In fact the reason this site started was because of the storms and hurricanes threatening this island. There was a massive shortage of up to date information on the web and here is where I jumped in. Three later I still will update you in case any storm nears this island.
Above picture: better times, construction water park
Today it was announced that Morgan’s Island water park has closed. After just a year the plagued water park shut down. Whether this is a permanent shut down has yet to be seen. I haven’t seen a for sale sign yet. I’m sure this costly project is leaving considerable debt behind.
This water park opened after years of construction delays. When it finally opened it started off on a wrong foot with potential customers by charging a ridiculously high entrance fee, $57 dollars for adults. When prices were lowered the damage was already done. The food and shop prices where considered too high as well. The straw was that slides weren’t maintained accordingly or were out of order.
The ironic part of this story is that one of the most accessed content of this website is about the water park. Obviously there’s demand for a water park in Aruba, perhaps on a different location and better management. I hope a new operator takes charge of this place (De Palm Tours perhaps), otherwise it needs to be tore down before it becomes an eye soar in the low rise area.`
What are the options? There is another water park called Arawa, but this one is focused to locals, offering little resort-like amenities. Unfortunately, the only option now is to swim in your own hotel pool. Despite all the imperfections I was a fan, simply because my kids loved it.
Tropical Storm Omar brought some rain in 2008 in Oranjestad
Last year was one of the calmest hurricane seasons in recent memory. With only three hurricanes and 9 named storms, 2009 is considered to be one of the softest years recently. Experts predict an above average 2010 Hurricane Season, however. It starts in July.
Dr. Gray from Colorado University is a renown expert in this field. His predictions are to be reckoned with. Most of the time he is fairly accurate with his predictions, however, last year he missed the boat terribly. If you would like to have more details of his predictions download the PDF file with his findings. The report was published in December of 2009. The predictions for this year are between 6 and 8 hurricanes.
Until this day one of the most searched topics on this website are about Aruba hurricanes. If you wonder what happened in recent years in Aruba, I would like to invite you to browse around this website and read all about it by using the search bar in the upper right corner, click on the #hurricanes tag or read the Archives.
Needless to say we are very happy when the season is calm and boring, especially for the islands in the more typical paths of hurricanes.