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  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 17:23:34 -0400
After 3 hours of looking at radars and talking to other pilots; my husband and pilot friends have decided to
hit the bar and hotel in San Juan; pilot reports on the San Juan run to St Thomas were not pleasant. There is
always another day to fly for the smart ones.  

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 16:41:26 -0400
Oh my.......did I say drought? oops....we have had almost 12 inches of rain since 12 midnight Friday.  The wine bucket
is full, I've been downloading the pool back into the cistern all day long and my little house is now it's own special island
with guts to the west and east running like rapids.  The hill behind the house is pouring down over the stone wall and creating
a lake effect at least 6 inches deep; a great test of how well built this house is?  This is all reminiscent of our normal October-
November rains...a little like Hortense; just a huge downpour, no visibility, and fast running water everywhere.  There has been
no thunder, so the dogs are happy for that and the kitties have given up guarding the tomatoes, although those bad birds are
still out there screaming about the weather messing up their feast.  We have new construction below our house, and they
have left bare hillsides exposed to this, am waiting see how long the hill actually holds as it backs right up to the house just
built.  Meanwhile, my pilot husband and his buddies are in San Juan (after going to that fly-in  called SUN N FUN in Florida)
trying to get back in an Aztec; there has been some lifting of clouds on and off, at one point I could not see more than
1/16th of a mile. The radar looks like it is lifting from San Juan across the Spanish Virgins..but then just here on the NW end
of St Thomas the ceiling is very very low, we'll see what they do.  Thank you again STORMCARIB for giving us such better
pictures than the SJU radar usually shows.  Any reports from Culebra or Vieques would be welcome to me right now.

- It's Carnival Baby!
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2007 14:43:34 -0400
Around 2:15 am Saturday a crashing umbrella on the deck was enough to make me throw open the shutters and dance in the rain.
We received almost 2 inches in a short period of time; the telltale flashes of light to the northeast all evening long was a clue that
we may hopefully be back in our  storm pattern normal for this time of year.  The rain came in windy circles and reminded me
of something (?) I must have deeply suppressed.  We are greening up and the weed-eater will be coming out for a spin very soon.
The tomato bird brought of few of his friends for a visit this morning; so the kitties are on full alert.  Let's keep this rain coming to
cool things down for CARNIVAL WEEK.

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- the smell of smoke
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 03:49:10 -0400
It is so dry, I think the driest it has been in the 15 years I've lived here?  Hey Super Dave, can you confirm how far behind
in moisture we are since last October compared to past years?    I woke up out of a dead sleep at 3 a.m....to the smell
of smoke somewhere in the bush west of me.  The cistern is echoing; we all know what that means, and the water trucks
are everywhere.  Meanwhile, Ms.Mermaid's misfortunes made me laugh out loud, I'm so sorry about that, but it does seem
that a pattern of mishaps do happen in threes...or (trees) as we say here.  PLEASE DO A RAIN DANCE TODAY.
Meanwhile, the horizon is clear as a bell, and I'm enjoying the boat parade between
Puerto Rico and all the Virgin Islands here on the Atlantic side. 
Anytime the humidity goes under 70% I feel parched. It is hard to believe I lived in Colorado for years and enjoyed the dry air.
Jane Higgins
in crunchy  Fortuna, St Thomas

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2007 16:50:14 -0400
We had a very good soaking rain early a.m. here, over an inch for sure and no watering needed today.  Everything is
greening up nicely and their are puddles along the road. It was freezing when we got up, 71 degrees, and the power
was off from 3:30 a.m. till after 7:30 a.m....so didn't need the fan anyway.  I'm with Dave, I've been thinking too hard
about how my surge protectors may or may not be working, especially when the power tries to come on over and over again.
So have hauled out the sweaters and hoping for abit more rain, and waiting for the tomatoes to get red.  The dogs are good
at chasing that one thrasher bird that seems to be a "found" pet with a strict diet of almost ripe tomatoes,am on the
search for bird netting.  I hope the Easter Bunny brings you (and me )  more rain and maybe some chocolate. 
Jane Higgins

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 08:09:06 -0400
A wonderful gentle rain that lasted all night long (so very rare; usually just a deluge over in minutes) left us with over
an inch in the rain gauge!  All the bush and trees are responding already....we are greening up by the moment, and
the tomatoes are SO HAPPY.  The horizon is sharp, the sky crisp and a fantastic day for island dwellers and visitors.
Jane Higgins

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:36:13 -0400
Like Dave said the RADAR is  deceiving! and I'm so jealous of the Culebra, Jamaica and Puerto Rico rain reports.
We had all the indicators; very dark and cloudy, 80% humidity....maybe a rumble of thunder in the distance and
a TEENY WEENY  bit of rain..... 1/4" in the wine bucket...(ops I mean rain gauge). The little bit did clear
out the hazy sky, it is drop dead gorgeous today,rain or not....WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES.  Keep rain dancing
Jane Higgins
the DRY END of Fortuna
St Thomas

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 13:19:38 -0400
It felt and looked liked August yesterday driving home, I used the a/c in the car, I usually don't but the overhanging
grey skies and hope for rain made it feel really muggy and more like August than March.  With everything on the
radar showing a hopeful deluge, we have had about 1/4 inch so far today. Crossing my fingers for more rain soon come.
It is tinderbox dry.  It will take days of rain to make up for what we haven't had since November. So Trinis...if you
have had too much; SEND IT OUR WAY. 
Jane Higgins

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 08:53:51 -0400
The horizon was invisible yesterday and may be worse today........questions for  SUPER DAVE THE WEATHERMAN...
is this all Sahara dust? or ash from Montserrat? and isn't this really early in the season for so much African dust?
What does this tell us about the weather over the Sahara?  It looks like July out there, but still very cool nights. 
Waiting to see if we will need to buy water again soon, the vegetable garden is getting very expensive; with
all the watering. Ever heard of the $64 tomato?
Please do a rain dance today!
Jane Higgins

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 16:04:37 -0400
Finally after much chanting , rain dancing &  begging, we have had some GREAT RAIN TODAY....the last few days really clouded up and teased us
but the puffers just blew away.  We live in the rain forest on the West end of St Thomas and had to buy water week before last; due to
stateside guests really  never getting the whole consumption deal, oh well.  Funny story Ms Mermaid, and I thought I knew cheap.  I do sometimes
put a piggy bank on the back of the toilet when it is really dry and I have too many visitors at one time. The best rule in the Caribbean is
ALWAYS TIP THE BAND, and you'll have fun all night mon. Now get out there and do some more rain dancing, we are way behind and the
tomatoes are thirsty. 
Jane Higgins
In Fortuna, St Thomas

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 13:35:11 -0400
I've been very guilty of being a fair weather friend all during this fabulous summer/fall season. Truly the most spectacular
weather I've experienced for this time of year in my 14 yrs in the Caribbean.  Now I call on my stormcarib network
to give me some reports from GUADELOUPE....a friend of mine is sailing  in the transatlantic race from France
to Guadeloupe and is almost at the finish...how is there weather down there?
If you want to watch the race try this   www.routedurhum-labanquepostale.com   my friend is solo sailor Kip Stone,
on Artforms  MONOHULL CLASSE 2    ....he is in the lead and hoping for a record breaking finish in his class.
Click on the  French flag to change over to English in the upper left hand corner.
Looks like we'll be have some more rain up here in awhile from that bit of weather to the east. We had an easy
4" in a few hours here on the NW side of St Thomas on Monday.  And yes we DO REMEMBER LENNY!

- Rain galore!!
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 16:21:05 EDT
They said it was coming, and it sure did. Oodles of rain this afternoon. Have to check how many inches!
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- Rain for days!
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 08:25:25 EDT
Wow, where did that come from. I have never seen such a display of lightning and  rolling thunder! Started last evening. Slowed a bit then picked up like crazy all night.
Hope that does not turn into a storm! I am heading out on a Western Caribbean cruise from Miami on Sunday.
Doubt we will see much from Flo.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- A Hard Hard Rain Did Fall
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 04:40:56 -0400
Wondering now why I watered the tomatoes and peppers early Thursday morning?.....when hours later we
got a full 3 inches in a straight downpour, the pool topped out (a good thing, we just download it into the
cistern) and the road to the house is quite river like!  Seems this cloud was pretty much parked over Fortuna
out here on the West End of St Thomas.  The rain forest thrives and this very early a.m. message is accompanied
by the very happy frog chanters.  They are really noisier than usual! It is very cool now after the
rain, almost sweater weather.  The stars are shiny and bright again. Worried for Monserrat once again.

- Storm Season Flying
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 10:38:48 -0400
    I was in Aruba all last week on business and used my hotel's internet cafe for the first time.  Sometimes ignorance is
bliss that is for sure.  On Friday getting ready to pack and come back to St Thomas via San Juan I looked at that big
blob named Ernesto stirring up the sea between Aruba and home.  Whew, flying around the Caribbean and back and
forth to Florida during this time of year is quite stimulating !  We have allot of visuals imbedded now with
extended weather searches on the internet.  The 12 minute run down the corridors of the San Juan airport to catch
my ATR flight to St Thomas was the physical cardio pretext to the emotional cardio workout I got on the short hop
to St Thomas Friday night.  We sat on the ramp for about 15 minutes waiting for the other joggers to get to the plane
(all the planes were late arriving and they only have one runway open in San Juan right now) and as we sat we watched the
very black cloud build up right over our heads.  There were no lightening strikes near the airport so I knew we were actually
going to leave, but dread comes in waves for me sometimes when I'm about to fly again.  My pilot husband constantly reminds me that
folks in the cockpit like living too.....and of course that was my chant as we landed (very smoothly I'll say) into a sideways
storm minutes later in St Thomas.  Wondering if I should shroud myself in ignorance during storm season? ...while  knowing
I'm addicted to the weather sites like kids to cartoons on Saturday mornings. 
Today of course it is glorious, as it should be in the US Virgin Islands.  Looking forward to forging thru the next 8 weeks
of storm season as quickly as possible.  Stay informed , as being really OVER PREPARED is the best tonic.
And to the writer that asked me about weather from Sept 8-18 while he stays in St John?.......have a wonderful time no
matter what the weather .....you'll love it, and bring a flashlight.

- More rain
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 08:32:29 EDT
So far that's all that happened. Sun is shining brightly this morning. Thoughts and prayers go out for those in the apparent path. Hope the gulf is spared.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- Ernesto!
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 18:40:06 EDT
Well, I looked at his location this morning and figured we will get some rain and guess what? Cats and dogs this afternoon! Hopefully it will calm down thru the night.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- are you feelin' it?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 06:45:37 -0400
WOW.....really feeling the weather you are in instills respect.  We are experiencing a very fast moving wave blowing
thru right now...loads of rain from every direction and it is very very windy here in the rain forest which tells me the
folks on top of the mountain are might sail away with these winds.  Looks like we need to download the pool into
the cistern again, we just did it yesterday, no complaints about putting more in the cistern as you know.  It has cooled
down considerably after all the rain in the last few days and am hoping the cucumbers go crazy as a result. It is
79 degrees with 86% humidity (please explain that to me...wouldn't it be 100% if it was raining?) and the mb
is 990.  It feels cold to me.....so back to the closet for some long sleeves.  Amazing how 79 can feel cold!
This front is moving so fast will be looking for some sun in a few hours.  Glad to hear my friends in Anguilla
got some rain, always good news for them.  As I write this, more gusts blowing thru and our wind indicator instrument
is on the fritz......now it is totally still, so just wait 5 minutes and   .......
A note for SuperDave the weatherman....one of our readers is coming from Ohio next week to get married on
Aug 17 on Hans Lollick.......let us know if there are any concerns for next week?  Stay warm and dry.

- squally
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 07:01:49 -0400
Good Morning,
After loads of rain in the last few days and gorgeous clear skies last night, woke up to bands of red and purple
clouds. The driveway is as muddy as it gets during October rains, and the bush is encroaching the back wall
faster than we can cut it down.  We are getting  squally winds now and the sea is showing some good chop. 
Expecting some rain, but looks like north of Puerto Rico is where the action is.  Will promise to PAY ATTENTION
this week ,the gang of blowhards are coming fast off the African coast.

- stormy night
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 16:26:36 -0400
This photo was taken about 6:10 pm last night,from our deck facing the Atlantic on the Northwest corner of 
St Thomas in Fortuna   and by 6:20 pm night time came early as you can see.  As we took
this picture we saw the lower part of the clouds racing west  to east, and we know our weather comes east to west, so
it was spectacular to see the counter movement so close. 
We saw very cloudy skies, and some rain yesterday during the day, but the real thunderstorm started very quickly after we took this picture.
We received at least 3 inches of rain last night and a few more this morning. The pool is almost overflowing.  Around 3 a.m.
the dogs and I were bracing for allot of thunderboomers and the cats were ready to come inside. It has been a cloudy rainy
day again today, so hoping to see the sun tomorrow.  Anytime a storm just leaves rain  our cistern is happy to accommodate,
hoping that Chris just disappears soon from the weather map.
Jane Higgins.   

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Description: JPEG image

- Gone!
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 05:25:49 EDT
Well, he seems to be gone. Enjoyed himself too much and is petering out! Hardly any heavy rains to speak of. It is raining lightly. Hope it slows down, as the grounds are totally saturated from last week, so we don't need a big deluge as it could flood!
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- Rain.
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 19:27:50 EDT
Rained cats and dogs for about an hour earlier. I figure this is one of the outer bands. Will probably continue through the night.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- Still?
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 17:11:03 -0400
 A little rain so far. Chris dead north of us right now. Should have lots of rain tonight, they say. All jet flights in during the day were cancelled. The AA Eagles and smaller airlines were flying. Cruise ships diverted.
Ronnie Lockhart

Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures, email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.

- Looking good!
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006 08:36:31 -0400
 So far we sit and wait! Seems like Chris will be passing north of us today. We have clouds so far. Expect rain later.

Ronnie Lockhart

Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures, email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.

- Preparing for Anything?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 15:44:55 -0400
When I saw  the big water bottles, small propane tank and garbage for  the dumpster all lined up by
the courtyard gate to be loaded into the car today, I realize my husband thinks we need to prepare for
something, if just bad weather and no power?  The milibars say 992, it is 75% humidity,
and 85 degrees...so it feels like???HOT HOT HOT.....there is certainly more breeze over here
on the the northwest side then there was in town a few hours ago.  I just get the feeling that when
Dave the weatherman says head up! he means it. We've got big puffy clouds on a steely horizon
over the Atlantic and the wild birds are hitting the feeders really hard, so I suspect we are in for at
least a stormy event over the next 24 hours. I'm always amazed at how some people never even think
about the weather (am I weather-obsessed?)as when one of our local corporations left the message
that we have a big meeting tomorrow at 10 a.m.  and when I mentioned that there my be weather issues
they were OBLIVIOUS...hum, guess I'll reconfirm that meeting tomorrow at 9am if my phone is working.
Take care, be ready for anything....nothing like "the drill" to get us organized.  Hoping that the down
islanders will keep in touch and let us know what we are in for,especially Anguilla, please stay in touch.
I have best friends in Welch's Village and would like to know if they are getting some rain in the cistern? 
Also, thank you Ms.Mermaid, I've been pushing for solar hot water heater installation and reading your take on
it, I'm rethinking that concept...you are so right, how much COLD water would it take to dilute it enough
to use? It is all about WATER USAGE.....and saving energy, personally I can live with cold showers, but
some folks can't.  After Hurricane Marilyn (Sept 95) when we were without power for 2 1/2 months, I had that
1 gallon jug shampoo and shower thing down pat, amazing the skills we use when we have to and then we
abandon our adaptability potential for simpler lives as soon as the fuel guzzling power plants come back on.

- Update
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 08:39:24 EDT
So, the sun is back out. Nice day yesterday and last night likewise. Woke up to the news of TS Chris. My cousin Chris will be elated that a storm formed on his birthday last night in his honor. From what I have been reading, Chris should pass by us early tomorrow morning. Hope he stays at 40 MPH and he should just blow by us with a little more rain!
Ronnie Lockhart

- storm habitat
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2006 07:53:08 -0400
We received another 2 inches of rain over the weekend, and had a grey day on Sunday.  The foliage is
a thousand hues of green again.....and our minds are gearing up.  When the storms form over your head
and move on it is time to think about what is coming.  So today begins with more "to dos" to continue
to get ready for what is coming in the next few months.  Today looks so clear on the map, will have to try
to get in some beach time  before we see more hatchling storms move in around Wednesday. 

- Rain
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2006 08:56:59 EDT
Rain, rain, rain, will it ever go away? Tired of it now. I suppose if it is the alternative to what we don't want, I guess it's okay! Somewhere I believe this may be the new jump off point for tropical storms in the making.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview

The Villa Fairview

- heads up fair weather friends
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 09:45:08 -0400
I don't write if the weather is great....which it has been on and off in the last few weeks.  Some days recently we've
had the clearest blue skies I've ever seen in July in the Caribbean.  We had at least an inch of rain in the wine bucket in the last 24
hrs, so the plants are happy.  The "fog of dust" that moved in yesterday was remarkable and powerful, always making
me feel  abit more secure knowing  that the dust will tamper down any storms coming.  When weatherman Dave says he'll go
out on a limb, read his contribution on the front page again and  PAY ATTENTION, HEADS UP that thing out there looks

- is it February?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 08:09:49 -0400
Last night out on the deck staring at what seemed to be thousands of stars, with a good breeze blowing I thought it
must be February.  I can't recall such a crisp, clear cool night in July?  The temp read 81 with 75% humidity and
it felt  great to me......the lizard genes are taking over my body.  We had a good downpour early this morning bringing
about 1/4 " into the wine bucket.  And the sky is so much bluer this morning.  Hoping that the ash and dust are
blown away for a while (although we know it helps keep storms from forming), as my family will be visiting from
Montana next week and perfect weather would be appreciated.  Super Dave (our local weatherman), what is that
 "thingy" down south? can you make it go some where else  please? 

- gorgeous weather
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2006 09:12:12 -0400
Yesterday was stellar in the line up of  early July days in my memory.  The sky was just incredibly blue and crisp with
big puffy clouds blowing by.  I'm so glad the Montserrat ash decided to break up before it got here.  This morning looks
like more of the same and then when you look at the radar to the south and east  makes you wonder how long
this great weather will hold. Today is Emancipation day in the US Virgin Islands; we must not ever forget how
history has shaped our island culture, and hopefully forgiveness will endure. St John Carnival will culminate
tomorrow on the 4th of July.  I came to appreciate my US citizenship the most after Hurricane Marilyn.  We
really are the lucky ones. Keep an eye out for some storms and higher seas for the next few days. It is 82 degrees
and 77% humidity here in Fortuna, St Thomas as I write this.  Now , I'm off to the beach before the weather changes.

- quake? ash?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 07:11:48 -0400
We had over an inch of rain Friday morning early, and then a real good drench again very late afternoon with
plenty of boomers.  After experiencing both earthquakes perfectly described by SuperDave our weatherman,
I   read more about our earthquake activity and how it relates to the Montserrat Volcano.  Glad to see
the report from Montserrat and have a feeling we'll all be seeing the ash come our way over the weekend.
My husband is an airplane mechanic and he is constantly looking at the ash count/volcanic sites on the web
to determine safety factors for the planes.  It may be hard for visitors to realize but we literally have some
types of aircraft grounded if the the ash count is too high, so do be patient if you hear this at one of our local
I see that the marine reports says we'll have some higher seas on Tuesday? Are we looking to have more
storms come thru Tuesday and Wednesday? If mariners can give me a heads up on that would love to know
as I was planning on being on a boat Monday- Wednesday off and on?  I'm truly a fair weather boater and will
pass it up anytime it looks like it might be rough, so please advise.
We have steely grey skies early this morning and woke up to more rain, the cisterns and flora are so happy!

- bang/boom
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 15:17:06 -0400
Yes, we heard the big BANG from the earthquake last night, but not any shaking, then a minute
later you could see the diagonal crisscross plaid pattern in the pool....the animals knew of course,
it was enough to get the coconut retrievers up off their "princess palettes" and onto the deck.
I always notice that the cats and dogs run outside whenever we get a shaker.  My husband always
says thanks to the earthquake gods, as he believes in a whole lotta little ones relieving all that tension,
then one big one that would put our place down the hill.
Then around 12:30 am the dogs and I were all verklempt listening to the  big thunderboomers, and someone
in this house just slept right thru it!!! We had at least 1/2" in the rain bucket this a.m.....and now today
around 3pm, we are really clouding up fast and getting some more rain.  WE LOVE IT....
To the visitors I say....when it rains, it makes us locals happier, and so you'll have a much better
time , see if anyone will let you sit in on a dominoes game during one of these storms.  I learned to
play Kings Corner during major downpours in Jamaica many years ago, as traveling with a deck
of cards is as essential as a tooth brush in my book, and many  games of "gin" rummy
are played if the storm shutters ever go up and the power goes off.
Looking forward to a safe and fun St John Carnival,  we'll be in Cane Garden Bay Tortola BVI
to see Jamaica's CULTURE band play at Myetts on July 2.   Rain or shine, should be a great weekend for the
p.s.  oops it's only Thursday, and all I can think of is the weekend...better get some work done tomorrow,
as there really is always tomorrow.

- nature's clothesdryer
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 15:23:39 -0400
After days and days of high humidity (it was up to 88% a few days ago) I'm reading 62% humidity right now,
and 88 degrees...more blue sky than usual (the Sahara dust does challenge us, but keeps those storms
depressed), and am seeing some pretty big cloud-tops building. 
The light breeze and low humidity is making the free clothes line (dryer) out back well worth the extra work.
It is great to see the horizon of the Atlantic looking crisp and defined.  Glancing  to the southeast looks
like we'll get some moisture coming up the island chain in the next few days.
The iguanas have come in really close to the house lately staking out the genip trees (bunches of large
grapelike fruits, that taste EXACTLY like Sweetart (?) candies)and basking on top of the wild orchid
trees. The wild parakeets are scouting the genips too, so nature is noisier than usual here in Fortuna,
St Thomas.   
Take care and pay attention to the weather, knowledge is power during storm season.

- MORE Rain and Lizards
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2006 14:04:09 -0400
Today by 2pm we have over a new inch in the rain bucket, and looks like some more coming.
Last night I knew it must have been around 78 degrees as I had to turn off the fans and put
a long sleeve t on...yes we are lizards here, the perfect temp is 85, ask any islander.
Hopefully all this moisture will cool the sea down abit,  only 81 degrees right now,
so really almost a winter day.  The water truck drivers can go on vacation now, that slow
steady drip from the rooftop into the cistern is a favorite rhythm.

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 12:16:56 -0400
Up here on the northwest side of St Thomas in Fortuna we had about 1/2" of rain (wine bucket rain gauge seems to work fine) last
night with some thunder, now today we have a really gray dark sky, so unusual for us one  would think we were in October rainy
season if it wasn't June.  It is a cool 80 degrees and the mlb is 990 and dropping, lots of thunder now and the dogs are
shaking in their paws.  Getting the coconut retrievers to try to mediate is always difficult but seems to get them over
the worst of the trauma  of big boomers.  We LOVE the rain here, the water we collect off of our roofs down into the downspouts
and into our cisterns (like your basements in the states) is  the water we get for free.  Unless you live right in town
with public water, our water collection systems on our houses keep us in FREE water most of the time, but if guests
stay too long or use too much H2O we end having to buy a truckload;just getting the truck in our driveway is pretty dicey.
In 5 years in Fortuna , we've  bought water twice, surely proving that we live in a rain forest!   Please remember
when you visit us to think real hard before flushing that toilet and always PLEASE shut off the shower while you soap up.
During October rainy season  long showers are the big treat and folks with bathtubs get to soak without guilt.
We also LOVE the rain as it settles down the Montserrat volcanic ash and the Saharan dust.  The veggie garden seems
to love the ash and dust as much as the rain.  It is these rare rainy gray days that brings visitors and locals  together
over a cold drink under cover, a great time for a game of dominoes. 
Jane Higgins

- a note for visitors
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 12:38:17 -0400
At the beginning of storm season and at the close of storm season I write a message for visitors as I tend to get
inquiries  from stormcarib site readers about our islands as I'm sure other correspondents do.
The United States Virgin Islands are St Thomas, St Croix , St John and Water Island plus many  smaller
We have one of the most varied  populations in the Caribbean; in St Thomas  we are about 10%
born here Thomians, 80% from other islands in the Caribbean and about 10% from the US mainland and
other countries around the world.  I love to try to guess where people are from by their dialect and accents.
Show  interest in the folks  you meet here and you'll be surprised about how much you can learn about 
Caribbean life.  Think of us as a small town where everyone greets everyone......
if we  make eye contact we nod our heads, or say "Good Day"...if we  are asking questions, waiting in line
for a service or purchase we  always greet first, with a friendly "Good Day , how are you?"  and we then
ask the question or finish the purchase.   Your visit to the islands will be wonderful if you greet everyone
and thank everyone, you will get back tenfold what you give, some other customs that some visitors may
not know about or understand include respectful modestly in our neighborhoods and towns; please 
do not wear bathing suits  unless you are on the beach.  Please always wear shirts with
your shorts unless you are on a beach.  It is offensive (and actually you can be ticketed) to us locals 
to see people wearing  swimwear  in town,  in our neighborhoods or at restaurants. 
What does this all have to do with the weather? Well, in off season and storm season, we all need that extra
smile and concern for our visitors and neighbors.  After experiencing 6 direct hurricanes in the last 14 years
here, I can say that no other people have ever been kinder than my fellow Virgin Islanders.
I think Ms.Tortola is right,...there is a big "thing" out towards Africa.....we need to pay attention to the EAST
hoping it will bring much needed rain for the cisterns and veggies and fruit. The mangos are looking fantastic.
Today we are having  fabulous blue skies and calm seas,  funny how a few days of clouds can make us all so
thankful for that big blue horizon over the sea.
Just say "Everyting cool mon", "Everyting safe", "Alright , okay?"  and you'll have a great visit with us.
and no I did not misspell everyting...that is  another story, and ask us all about cisterns and water usage some day...
a lesson the rest of the world should really learn very soon.

- Gusty Fortuna
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2006 13:44:51 -0400
    Good Afternoon,
   Looks like it is time to really start watching the weather again.  We are having some pretty good gusts here on the
  Northwest side of St Thomas in the Fortuna area.  We've had enough rain in the last few days to make the
  cisterns and tomatoes happy.  This map looks very interesting? wondering if something will form?(AFTER it passes
  us!) the pressure just dropped to 992 on my weather station and my Atlantic view (I'm at about 600 ft up the hill)
  looks suddenly steely and choppy, maybe  5-7 ft seas right now. I'm seeing allot of cloud action coming from
  the North and the map is showing more coming up from the Southeast...should make for an interesting clash.
   I'm off to get the clothes off the line and make sure things are secure on the deck.  Seeing big fluctuations on the
   wind speeds all of a sudden. 
  We need the rain , that is for sure!!!!  Hey SuperDave are you out there in cyber space? What do you think?
  Not a great day for flying....
   Jane Higgins  on the Atlantic side
    jhigginswear at islands.vi

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