Our Caribbean Islands Are Hurting, But Recovering

St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Dominica, Turks & Caicos Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico are only a few of the islands that were hit directly or indirectly by hurricanes this summer.

Other than expressing my thoughts to our fellow islanders and writing this piece, I feel there isn’t much I can do here from Aruba. It is extremely disheartening to see the aftermath of storms and the damage it has caused, from the casualties to the livelihood of people.

Continue reading Our Caribbean Islands Are Hurting, But Recovering

What You Should Know About Aruba Weather, Rain, Storms, Earthquakes

It is hot, really hot on this island. But it is bearable, mainly due to the constant trade winds. Aruba runs on the weather. Weather makes or breaks any tourist destination, just like Aruba’s. This island is lucky to have amazing weather year around.

Most locals find our local weather a nuisance. In fact, most fellow islanders put effort to avoid the weather by staying indoors as much as possible, preferably in ice-cold air conditioning or alternatively in the shade. We “run” away from the weather.

Visitors, on the other side, soak in as much sun-hours as possible, bordering on to catching nasty sunburns.

In this post, I’m diving deep into Aruba weather issues revealing interesting, factual and publicly available information.

Continue reading What You Should Know About Aruba Weather, Rain, Storms, Earthquakes

October Storm Forming In The Southern Caribbean, Headed For Aruba [Updated]


Storm near Aruba [image by Stormpulse]

Local weather service has issued an alert earlier today warning of potential heavy rainfall for the coming 24 hours. In this part of the world these kind of warnings are definitely unusual, causing some nervousness with some locals.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami this system has only 10% chance to become a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. It’s a very slow moving storm at 10 miles per hours (16 KPH) headed west-northwestward.

NHC: “Regardless of development locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected to continue over the windward islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao through tonight.” As of 7:45 PM local time I can report that it’s dry and no clouds in the sky. Will be updated if necessary.

Updates below.

Update 1 – 9:55 PM: NHC raised the chances for this system to become a tropical cyclone from 10 to 20%. Still dry in Aruba. New imaged added with computer calculations.


New calculations on storm near Aruba [image by Stormpulse]

Update 2 – 7:00 AM 25 October: NHC upgraded the chances of this system to become a tropical cyclone to 40%. It started to rain modestly this morning. New image added.


Storm potential grows [image by Stormpulse]

Update 3 – 3:37PM 26 October: System moved without the expected rain. Island is still hotter than normal, waiting for the trade winds to pick up again to cool off the island.

Hurricane Katia Moving Westward

Hurricane season started slowly this year, but it’s been steaming up. As of today there are three systems that formed and all three seems to eye the mainland USA. In below image you can see two nameless systems and tropical storm Katia. System #1 has 80% chance to form into a major storm and system #2, 50% chance.

New storm Lee

The only system that seems to threaten the Caribbean right now is system #1 (storm Lee), however that one seems to move into the Gulf of Mexico on its way to the state of Louisiana, among others. None of the systems are a threat to Aruba at this point.

Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia [image by Storm Pulse]

2011 Hurricane Season has been relatively calm for the southern Caribbean. In fact there hasn’t been a threat down here. Quiet the contrary in the US. My thoughts go out to the people who lost family and friends because of Irene.

Update

Update 1: Today (September 2) National Hurricane Center in Miami upgrade system #1 to storm Lee. Hurricane Katia’s projected path has been updated and seems now to be headed to the east coast. It’s still too early to exactly pin point if and when hurricane Katia will make landfall.

No More Hurricanes This Year

Hurricane Season 2010 is no more. Officially the hurricane season is yearly from June 1st to November 30th. Now it’s time to make up the balance of 2010. In short: hard hit beaches and rain. A lot of rain.

This year there were 19 named storms with some eying Aruba. Eventually all turned away. However, they still managed to bring record breaking rainfall and devastating western currents to Aruba which resulted in respectively flooding and ruined beaches.

Tomas in Aruba
Due to storms, massive surge of waves during 2010 hurricane season

Especially the beaches are a cause of concern. Nature won’t be able to fix this in the short term, thus man needs to give a hand. In order for these hard hit areas to get back to ‘normal’ some time is going to be needed. Meanwhile the record rainfall continues over Aruba.

Beaches Quickly Cleaned After November Rains

After being hit hard by late October and early November storms, popular beaches frequented by mostly tourists were quickly cleaned up by local officials, hotel staff and even some tourists.

The viciousness of this storm was not even the amount of rainfall – which was abnormally high – but was more the currents that changed direction completely, causing the beaches to be hit hard from the west. This resulted in beaches severely hit for hours on end, especially near Casa del Mar and Tamarijn.

Eagle Beach
Eagle Beach

We are not in the clear yet as the rain seems to continue on the island. What appears to happen this time is that the rainfall does not come accompanied by a change in currents, sparing the beaches for now.