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For the most recent reports from St.Thomas see this page.

- - - 2009 Hurricane Season - - -

- Attack of the Flying Termites
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 06:58:41 -0400
Last check on Storm Carib  last night our story was told by Crabby from St John .
Good thing we cancelled the dinner on the deck  as the flying
termites were everywhere and we had to close up and turn out all the lights.  Some
vacuuming of the corpses and  then  off  to bed with cloud cover and drizzle.
This morning very early a bit of Tahitian blue sky  was a colorful wake up
call,,along with intermittent wide bands of rouge and a faint rainbow, no wonder
Pissarro's use of color manifested from his childhood memories in St Thomas.
The radar is clear, we are in for some sun and now back to plan A on the deck. 
We have a farmer's market at Yacht Haven Grande this morning, hoping to pick
up some cucumbers for pickling.
Have a fabulous sunny day on the island you call home. Visitors enjoy the unexpected luxury 
of  cooler temperatures and water logged cisterns.  
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- West to East
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 10:22:41 -0400
In the last half hour weather has changed dramatically, definite movement of
West to East downpours and darkness, the temps are still dropping, and the
plans are cancelled.
Hoping that our neighbors  in Puerto Rico stay home , please don't try
to drive in this, flights are cancelled as they should be. Do you remember
Let us know how you are doing in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic,
we feel like Erika is coming back and stalling over us.
Stay dry, now hearing thunder.
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi
Northwest Side of
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- Fireside Chat
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 10:05:05 -0400
Good Morning Islanders,
It is chilly enough to  pull on the pants and long sleeve t-shirts.  We are so used to radiant sunshine
most days of our lives that anytime we get below 80 degrees winter psyche sets in. It is as dark
as 7pm right now with low level charcoal clouds moving back from west to east, and dripping
We have a  fire pit on the deck and firewood drying out for tonight's dinner time. There
is something  special about the reflection of the flames on the water and the fragrant hickory
smoke that adds to social ambiance. Grilling  homegrown star fruit tastes like a Granny
Smith pie , fall must be here.
Erika's sunsets introduced some new hues  on the North side.  A particular turquoise fuchsia
combination last night was the moment to make it all worth it.  The clouds
piled in again last night burying the moon and casting rouge all over the grey.  Can someone tell
me where the red tints come from on a cloudy night?  The Culebra picture shows that slice of
multi color that I'm trying to describe.
The poorest of the poor in Haiti may once again have to face too much rain and mudslides.  Their
potable water issues are at a crisis level, while the clean water from the sky can't be collected in
systems they don't have, it is a cruel problem, that we all need to focus on trying to fix.
Dear Haitians stay safe, and let us know how we can help, again and again.
We have a good roof,  we are the lucky ones.
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- Rain....
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 05 Sep 2009 08:41:48 -0400
Rains have been coming and going. Looks like one of those rainy days. We need it. Thanks Erika!

Ronnie Lockhart

- About last night and try ISLAND BIRDS
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 11:02:08 -0400
Good Morning,
Around 11pm last night  lightening started  reflecting on the North  clouds from the South.
The deck view straight up  exposed clouds  piling in  huge puffs  crowding out the stars and the  full moon.
Around 2am the thunder came closer, lightening increased into whole sky flashes and the desperate
dogs tied up outside in the neighbors yard whined  pitifully.  We unplugged the important stuff ready
for  booms over head, but the thunder stayed distant.  Then the rain started in such a weird way;
like someone standing in the shower turning it on full blast for 5 seconds, then turning it completely off.
This went on and off till sleep moved back in. 
Today is steely , a cool break from the intense heat of the last week.  Now we've had enough passing
showers and a bucket dumper that it is time to hook up the hose to the auxiliary cistern and download
into the underground tank.  We are so lucky to get the rain, we were close to buying water again.    
Why are the schools open today? I know that the NHC warnings forced the government to close schools
yesterday and nothing happened, but can't the government look at the radar and the sky and figure out
that the schools need to be closed today?  At least by noon, so the kids can get home before the roads
pool up.  You do have to wonder who is in charge? We are hearing of rainy reports from all sides of the
island.  St. Croix  is getting it good now, so glad my friends there prepared.
In answer to the Vieques report, another alternative for folks stuck with Cape Air down, is  ISLAND BIRDS,
www.islandbirds.com  ,they may  come get you, they are  an on-demand charter company that flies to all of our
islands ,  BVI phone  is  284-495-2002  or US toll free # is  877-515-5066, they tend to bend over backwards to
make sure they can get  you where you need to go. 
Rain is back here and the pool level came up to where it should be.  The sugar birds and  hummingbirds
have emptied the feeders again, and the parakeets are chattering in the genip trees.  The critter noises all
night were louder than usual, the tree frogs, crickets, and crabs were in unison in their gratitude for the
showers.  It is dark enough now that some of the night sounds are audible.
Stay in touch, let us know how it goes today, every time we prepare we are that much closer to being
ready for anything. 
West End Fortuna, Rain Forest,
Facing the Atlantic, St Thomas, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

- Oh well.
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 16:42:58 -0400
The forecast is weird. They are showing the depression almost past us and turning back to come by tonight! I don't think so. They did something similar with Omar last year. These guys need less coffee!

Ronnie Lockhart

- And so Erika begins...
  • From: Max Henderly <max.henderly at glacialenergy.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 11:51:14 -0400

We had our first respectable band of wind, about 35 knots, pass over the north side of St. Thomas.  Out on Tropaco Point, we are catching the full brunt of the ENE wind and rain as it passes over Magens Bay.  We have had regular bands of wind and light rain all morning.  Nothing huge yet, but it has begun.


Max Henderly

Tropaco Point - Estate Hull Bay

US Virgin Islands

- Still on track
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 11:00:37 -0400
Looks like Erika is determined to hit the VI. Dead on for STX right now. What's appealing is the it is only 40 mph.

Ronnie Lockhart

- A Little Rain and Wind
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 09:19:19 -0400
Good Morning,
It is a gray day on the North side of Fortuna West End St Thomas, raining now and slight swirly winds
are coming and going thru the tallest trees.  The dogs found the rugs and it seems so much cooler
than it has been in the last few days.  The Atlantic is showing more chop and a few motor yachts
made their run back to Puerto Rico yesterday late afternoon. 
Looking forward to getting some cistern benefit out of Erika.  I'm hoping that Steve from Anguilla
can lets us know if our friends in Welch's Village are getting some deposits in their bone dry
Take care and stay tuned.....anything moving this slowly bares watching.  I hope the Puerto Ricans
are paying attention.
How does the sea look from the Mahogany Run views?  Let us know how it is in your neighborhood.

- Good morning.
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 08:12:47 -0400
Time to see what's going on. Windy and light rain as I type. Looks like Erika has swayed a little back to the North. Feel for Puerto Rico as it seem it will cross diagonally across there. Here is a web cam in my window. Hopefully it will transmit as there is no need to shutter the house.

Ronnie Lockhart

- Southern Gal
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 23:03:29 -0400
I am happy to see that she is still swaying South! No difference is wind speed but going South! Good thing!

Ronnie Lockhart

- Further South.
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 19:37:37 -0400
Seems like I figured, she is moving more South. Unfortunately, we are now poised to get te Northern quadrant. Not too good, but she is still a baby!

Ronnie Lockhart

- Erika again!
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 12:38:22 -0400
The buzz is around since the 11 o'clock report that she will pass right between STT and STX. Trouble is she has been dropping lower every few hours. So, to me it's a wait and see what she does next.


- Confused by Computer Models?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 09:17:25 -0400
Like Dave said sometimes the computer models can't nail it.  Take a look outside now and report back to us.
Yesterday it was roasting, then last night the temps dropped, and now we have breezes off and on, the
Caribbean sea was slick and flat yesterday and today the Atlantic side is getting choppy. Erika's  4-8mph forward
speed is freaky.  The tops of the trees are moving more than they should on a normal September day. Remember
how slow Lenny was?  Maybe the water trucks will be resting soon. 
What were the predictors before computers?

- Erika revisited
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 02 Sep 2009 06:24:11 -0400
Seems like she took a dip last night and will pass closer to us than I thought. Will wait and see what the next report has to offer.

Ronnie Lockhart

- Ericka
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 18:10:07 -0400
Okay, time to get looking! As usual, she should pass North! Keeping fingers crossed.

Ronnie Lockhart

- Invest 94L (September 1, 2009)
  • From: "Cordelia L. Jones" <cordelia at vilaw.com>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 10:09:59 -0400
Good Morning,
It seems Invest 94 is still somewhat disorganized, but producing moderate to strong thunderstorms and strong convection is within a 60 NM radius of 16.5N 53.5W.  This is a very large, broad Tropical Wave and although she is having a hard time becoming organized enough to be considered a Tropical Storm, she has all the right elements to do so.  The sea surface temperatures are at approximately 29 Celsius, there is very little wind shear and the Saharan Dust Layer is still nonexistent.  Also, she has slowed down from moving 15 mph to 10-12 mph, which should allow for further intensification. 
At present, Invest 94 is 15.9N 56W or 240 NM East of the Leeward Islands and approximately 632 miles East of San Juan.  Strongest gale force winds extend to the East of the center and it is 1006 mb.  As usual while a tropical system is still a wave, the computer models will be a guess I think at best.  NGAPS has Invest 94 at 18.0N 60.3W on Wednesday at 6:00 am with winds at 33 mph.  LBAR has it at 18.2N 63W on Thursday at 6:00 am, but has not given a wind speed.  BAMM model has it at 17.8N 64.5W on Friday morning, but does not give a wind speed.  Other computer models, such as the GFS, CMC have Invest 94's track a little North of us here in in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  I tend to prefer the Navy NRL Monterey track which has Invest 94 heading directly towards Barbuda, and after that it becomes unclear if will move slightly North of us or directly over us here in the Virgin Islands. 
As we started receiving Hurricane/Tropical Storm Preparedness Statements issued by the NWS in San Juan as early as yesterday, for the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, it would be a good idea for us to keep a close watch and monitor this system very closely.  Also, the NWS in San Juan has the wind speed at 35 mph. 

Cordelia L. Jones, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands





- Invest 94 Correction: (August 31, 2009 at 10:04 am (AST)
  • From: "Cordelia L. Jones" <cordelia at vilaw.com>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 10:07:45 -0400
Good Morning. 
I am re-posting my original earlier post, because I needed to make a correction in my wording.  Therefore, here is my corrected version: 
Invest 94, which is approximately 600 miles East of the Lesser Antilles, appears to be better organized this morning and seems to have Tropical Depression qualities to it.  Also, conditions are very favorable for further intensification, such as it is in a warmer sea surface temperature, very moist air and the Saharan Dust is minimal if any within the coordinates of Invest 94, which the center at present is 13N 50W.  Winds are at approximately 30 mph, 1007 mb.  It is moving West-Northwest at 15 mph.  The slow forward movement of Invest 94, will only enhance its strengthening.  This morning's computer models, such as NGAPS, LBAR and BAMM have Invest 94 moving extremely close to us if not directly over us.  Whereas, the GFS and CMC models have it moving almost similar to Hurricane Bill's path moving to the Northeast of us here in St. Thomas.  I think until the Invest becomes at least a tropical depression, it is hard to give the computer models much validity, because much can change from a tropical wave to a tropical depression.  I do feel though, Invest 94 will strengthen into a tropical depression by this afternoon and could turn into a tropical storm by tomorrow late afternoon or early evening.  Regardless, we here in St. Thomas, should keep a very close watch on Invest 94 because it will strengthen further and it is, I believe headed for the Virgin Islands or maybe a little to our South. 

Cordelia L. Jones
Email: at vilaw.com href="blocked::mailto:cjones at vilaw.com">cjones at vilaw.com


- Invest 94 (August 31, 2009)
  • From: "Cordelia L. Jones" <cordelia at vilaw.com>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 10:01:33 -0400
Good Morning. 
Invest 94, which is approximately 600 miles East of the Lesser Antilles, appears to be better organized this morning and seems to have Tropical Depression qualities to it.  Also, conditions are very favorable for further intensification, such as it is in a warmer sea surface temperature, very moist air and the Saharan Dust is minimal if any within the coordinates of Invest 94, which the center at present is 13N 50W.  Winds are at approximately 30 mph, 1007 mb.  It is moving West-Northwest at 15 mph.  The slow forward movement of Invest 94, will only enhance its strengthening.  The computer models, such as NGAPS, LBAR and BAMM have Invest 94 moving extremely close to us if not directly over us this morning.  Whereas, the GFS and CMC models have it moving almost similar to Hurricane Bill's path moving to the Northeast of us here in St. Thomas.  I think until the Invest becomes at least a tropical depression, it is hard to give the computer models much validity, because much can change from a tropical wave to a tropical depression.  I do feel though, Invest 94 will strengthen into a tropical depression by this afternoon and could turn into a tropical storm by tomorrow late afternoon or early evening.  Regardless, we here in St. Thomas, should keep a very close watch on Invest 94 because it will strengthen further and it is, I believe headed for the Virgin Islands or maybe a little to our South. 

Cordelia L. Jones
Email: cjones at vilaw.com



- Hi
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 09:03:55 -0400
Well. we are almost through with August. The dreaded September arrives. A little something out there now but it too looks like it will head North if anything develops.

Ronnie Lockhart

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 10:32:13 -0400
Good thing we had Bill as practice.  When Dave says it could be BAD....he means it, Dave is always right,
and my aviator husband pointed out this thing to the East of us yesterday, basically saying that we'll be
busy towards the end of next week.  A question for Dave and Gert.......Sept 4 is the full moon, do you
believe the moon phase influences a pending storm? 
Meanwhile  visit  www.savelindberghbay.com   our Daily News  paper  put us on the front
page today and we may be gaining some hope that the clear azure waters of Lindbergh Bay may be saved
if our Governor listens to our pleas. 
With no Sahara Dust we are shocked again by the clear beauty of this place, rest up this weekend, we will probably
be very busy soon come.  
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi


- another iguana story
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 10:31:04 -0400

I received this charming picture and story from another St. Thomian...
It was cool this morning and we've had some rain overnight, still could use
more but I think there may be something brewing north of us. Ready for
winter wind now by 9am it is sweaty time.    Jane

From Debbie, this text goes with the picture>
caught this little guy whirling around in the pool filter...thought it was a twig stuck in there...didn't take him indoors, released him after a photo session poolside. What a beautiful color he was and very tiny! ....we live at Mahogany Run on St. Thomas, North side of the mountain facing the BVI's.


Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi Fortuna, West End, St Thomas

- Invest 92L
  • From: "Cordelia L. Jones" <cordelia at vilaw.com>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 16:03:20 -0400
We now have Invest 92L approximately 180 miles East of the Northern Leeward Islands.  Last I saw it is moving West at about 20 mph and at that speed, if it continues on its path, we in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands will be experiencing some gusty winds and hopefully more rain later this evening.  Per the NHC/NOAA this Tropical Wave went from its color classification of yellow this morning to orange on its 2:00 pm update.  So, Invest 92L has from 30-50% chance of developing into something stronger.  However, due to its close proximity to us here in St. Thomas, even if this Wave develops into a tropical cyclone, it will be past us and probably Northwest of us.  It has become extremely cloudy here and the winds have started to pick up, but I cannot tell if this is from Invest 92L or typical Island weather. 


Cordelia Jones

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- iguana in the couch?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 14:52:17 -0400
Our island life is never really dull......just spaced out moments of high excitement diluted by tropical
heat and hurricane scares.  Some of us live in open houses; where our doors fold back during the
day and we let the outside in, along with that  comes critter guests that may not be able to figure out
how to get back outside.  
I just lost a lime green baby iguana in my couch.  The cats are in trouble with me now for watching too
close while I try to rescue the poor guy.  The color of a baby iguana is impossible to describe...neon lime with
highlights of neon yellow with little red dots here and there might be close.    
Meanwhile it is humid with some breeze and we had good rain last night.  Pressure washing mania
over the weekend put a big dent in the cistern , hoping for more rain soon.
Anybody else have an inside the house iguana story? 

- Cooler, breezier turtle hathing time
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 10:33:04 -0400
We have had  cool breezes and it  feels like winter winds compared to the hot still
sweaty time we had after Bill's passing.  Life seems  more focused and easy
when you know you've been by passed by a Cat4 bomb. 
Now we anxiously await the turtle hatchings about to commence on St Thomas.  We had a
monumental event in July when two leaherback turtle moms came to nest on our Brewer's
beach and Lindbergh Bay beach.  We'll be assisting in hatching watches soon, involves
lots of quiet hours on the beach at night with no lights.  It is the  time to be grateful
that these huge ancient ocean friends have decided to entrust us with their precious nests.
We continue to try to stop our government from dumping mercury laden toxins in our clear
clean Lindbergh Bay that they are dredging out of the harbor.  See  www.savelindberghbay.com ,
next weekend  the few environmentally friendly Senators join our island divers to take undersea
images of the area where the government proposes dumping the poisons. Join us on Saturday
August 29 from 9am - 12 noon and dive in Lindbergh Bay.
We can't control the weather, we can be ready for it. We can try our hardest to save these fantastic
islands we call home, the land, flora, fauna and sea life are ours to ruin or embrace for our
grandchildren's grandchildren.  When the developers figure out that stopping development now
will make them richer down the road we may be able to save paradise. Too bad that riches
are measured in cement on too many islands. 
We just picked very ripe star fruit and the limes are falling off the trees so I'm going to make
star fruit/lime crisp for the beach party today.
Assuming Bill is freezing by now way up north. So happy that Bermuda came thru it all with
little damage.  What a glorious day today will be on that island.

- A Special GRRR for Bermuda August 20, 2009 1900Z
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 16:50:00 -0400
I received this just now and I think you folks in Bermuda should read this...
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:31 PM
Subject: A Special GRRR for Bermuda August 20, 2009 1900Z

I do not wish to alarm my friends on the rock but, I do wish to raise the red flag of warning!
Unfortunately or maybe not, I have sat through over a dozen hurricanes, none alike!   I am intimately aware of "IKE" and Galveston, TX. (Family)   IKE was the largest hurricane in recorded history being 600x240 miles:
When IKE crashed into Galveston Island, head on, it was a CAT-2 hurricane!  " Ike also had the highest Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) of any Atlantic storm. IKE is a measure of storm surge destructive potential, similar to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, though it is more complex and in many ways more accurate. On a scale that ranges from 1 to 6, with 6 being highest destructive potential, Ike earned a 5.6."
Though for the most part I concern myself with the mariners and the aviation community, over the years I have gained e-pals all over the Atlantic and I care about all of you.   Bermuda, "the rock" is no exception.
For those of you that are familiar, this will be a refresher, for newbies, learn!
When a hurricane is pushing ahead, the leading edge I refer to as the bumper.   It simply pushes anything in front of it straight ahead including water, winds, surge and incredibly bad storms containing tornados.   If you were in the drivers seat of the hurricane, let's say Bill and here you are tooling across the ocean.  As you look out to the right side you see the churning turning coming across in front of you from right to left.  As you look off the left side you see everything going away behind you.   It is the counter clockwise spin of the storm.
Within 25 miles of the eye of a hurricane it really doesn't matter much which side you are on, you will get the brunt of the "everything" that is contained in a hurricane at it's worst depending only upon category!   In the graphic of Bill below, Bill is pretty much contained within a Lat Long box and direction is from lower right to upper left and you will notice that the right side has a much larger storm/wind area.   This is commonly referred to as the WRONG side as it is much stronger and lasts lots longer and it is this side that is pushing water out front of it.    In Bill's case, lots of water with wave heights 35 to 50+ feet in front of the approaching eye.   
Just so you fully appreciate what is quickly approaching so that you may be prepared depending on which side of the island Bill passes on? I am going to show you some real brief examples.
First, Cayman Brac took a direct hit by Paloma last year, a CAT 4 hurricane!    No one will really either appreciate or understand why at the time I said though it was terrible, they were lucky!  Why did I say that?   Here is a photo of Cayman Brac:
Wow, pretty torn up and I think well over a thousand were without homes for some time.
Now lets look at Galveston Island, IKE: CAT-2
Galveston also took a direct hit with a 14 foot storm surge that topped their 14 foot sea wall to prevent flooding and damage.
20 miles inland on Galveston Bay is Seabrook:
One of many high n dry's in Seabrook: note the standing water.
25 miles to the northeast of Galveston is Gilchrist, use the link below to see the relationship between the two.
Gilchrist was on the right (WRONG) side of IKE, and only 25 miles away. See Gilchrist photo below:  Before IKE, this was solid houses!
Further to the northeast into Louisiana storm surge of 25+ feet went 15 miles inland.  
To best understand preparations you need to know which side of the storm you are going to be struck by, direct, left, or right (WRONG).   At that point it is all about winds, from which direction, then comes or doesn't come, the water!
If I remember correctly Bermuda is approximately 22 sq. miles and the highest point is Town Hill at about 250 feet.   I guess the rest is about 16 feet on average?   The rock is really a composite of over 180 coral islands or islets.
There just aren't a lot of places to hide if one really had to.
 Currently, Bill, CAT 3-5, is expected to pass at some distance to the west of Bermuda, the further west the better as the islands will be on the wrong side if this is the case!    Depending on distance away, waves from 10 to 30 may be expected.   Winds?  I don't know yet but breezy!!!!! (We will all know tomorrow!)  Storm surge, might be slight, 5-10 feet?   If Bill is near by, 10 feet and up, way up if Bill is within 50 miles! GRRR
If, and that is a damn big if,  Bill makes a head on direct hit on the islands, waves to 30 feet and surge to at least 25, winds to 150 mph.   This is assuming nothing knocks it out!  Doubtful ...
There is absolutely no reason to throw sugar over a very dangerous storm! NONE.    We have all seen these things turn on a dime, so to speak.  
We have models and forecasts and wave guides all based on pertinent data and guess work.    Can we trust this information?  As a rule yes but.   In the final analysis, we are not in control.   It's that simple, we prepare for what we expect based on the best information at the time.   I would just like you to expect the unexpected and understand what MIGHT happen with just minor variables.   Now you got it, it's in your hands.   God Bless you all and good luck.
Always keep an eye to weather and be safe out there. Max
The usual pics and links below:
Make the best of today, tomorrow is not promised ....

- Dear Susan in Bermuda
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 11:22:41 -0400
Ignore the chiding, it does seem to be an island dwellers game...you be ready for a Cat 4
and you will rest easier, you are obligated to protect your family first.  I think the swells
will rise and be a problem for lowlanders .  Just be ready and don't worry about what others
think of rational caution.

- Relief at Last
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 10:27:01 -0400
We are so glad to see Bill go north. Last night was the hottest night I've ever been thru in the 16 yrs I've lived here.
The fan was full blast at my feet and it  seemed like the air was thin. The wind was at a complete standstill,
now we have a little bit of a normal breeze going.  The sea has calmed down on the north side and it just looks
like another great day in paradise.
After the adrenalin push yesterday, the home front has that fantastic minimalist look , the naked decks and courtyard
are now screaming for pressure washing of course!  This truly is our spring cleaning time of year and now we
are completely prepared for the rest of storm season thru November.  
We were very lucky this time and just hope that Bill does no harm to anyone.  What a relief.

- Surfs up
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:03:03 -0400
We are about 650 feet up the hill above northwest side of St Thomas in Fortuna facing the Atlantic and islands
called Cockroach and Cricket.  The seas are building, and looking confused, I'd guess over 6ft, lots of white caps
and chop, surfs up on the little outer islands splashing over them, could be high tide.  Good steady wind
now which will keep us cooler as we finish up. 
I just heard the CNN weather guy say "gee I hope Bill turns right soon", that must make some feel really secure!
Forecasting is guessing with lots of computers to back you up.    

- Bill is too much in my space
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 04:54:44 -0400
Good Morning,
I've been up since 3am ,watching Bill creep into our  neighborhood and local radar field, he is just too close
for me.  I'm sure Bill will go north of us , but he is so huge and his tail seems to go almost to S. America,
so I'm cancelling my travels and going into full prep mode.  I may be overly cautious but I've been thru
too many hurricanes. 
I'd much rather have our  perimeters  checked and re-checked  and nothing happen than the alternative.
Take extra caution in Bermuda please.
Let us  know if you are feeling any vibes from Bill.

- Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. I'll need your advice
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 21:01:09 -0400
I have to be at the airport at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday to fly to Orlando. I still
see outer bands and  a big huge storm that could impact us here on the
northwest side of St Thomas.  I am not seeing the right turn and move north
that others may see, so please check in and let me know...do I fly away from my
husband, dogs, cats, and  home and or do I go?
This is the issue with island dwellers, as much as we hate storms,
we can't imagine leaving our homes behind and not being there to help make
sure all is taken care of.   I'll check in again at 5:30 a.m. and make my decision then. 
All of your advice will help, the trip to Orlando is just business.  I feel horrible for
anyone in Bill's path, he looks like a big strong brut with a confused path.
Stay safe and be ready.  If I lived in Bermuda and I could board up my house and
fly away I would for sure.   If you have not been thru a hurricane don't make any
assumptions, the storm is one thing, the aftermath is the pits.
Dave, I hope you read this and can advise. 

- Tell Me Again about Bill Turning Right?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 17:24:25 -0400
    I'm still waiting to see the big turn right???

- More stuff.
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 22:37:54 -0400
Ana gone, Bill fleeing. Now we can hopefully relax for a while or longer!
Ronnie Lockhart

- Ana Was up Early
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 10:16:38 -0400
Good Morning,
Ana rattled and boomed around around 4:30 this morning, enough to make me hop out of bed and
clear a few things off the deck that I should have taken care of yesterday.  She brought some rain
from different directions and enough thunder to scare the dogs.  The Atlantic is steely and choppy with
some building seas and the sky is a perfect match.  All is calm with a gust or two.  Most models show Bill
tracking North and he is moving fast.  If he doesn't track North I don't want to be in his path. My
trip to Orlando on Wednesday a.m. will be confirmed around 5 a.m., hoping the models are right.
We did need that rain and hoping some of it landed in the cistern.  The power wash to the windows
was welcome.
Take care and let us know how you are doing in Puerto Rico?
Oh ...there is another blast of circular wind, those gusts between calm air are memory triggers that
is for sure! 
Did you get any rain in Anguilla?

- Things
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 08:11:49 -0400
Well, yesterday was a scorcher at the Chili Cook Off. Today now, has been windy and rainy as Ana was downgraded. She's traveling fast, so I hope this will pass soon! Bill is now  a hurricane, but does not appear to be coming anywhere close. Maybe some more rain.
Ronnie Lockhart

- Ana and Bill
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 20:25:32 -0400
So far it looks like she will pass south and he north! Guess he does not like her like Luis and Marilyn!
Ronnie Lockhart

- Focus on Preparation
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 10:16:45 -0400
Good Morning Island Neighbors,
Think of storm preparation like spring cleaning and it just becomes another annual chore that has
to be done.  Ana will probably bring some much needed rain especially for our friends in Welch's
Village, Anguilla and cause more problems Northwest of us as I travel to Orlando on Wednesday.
It is the possibility of Bill that is a tough call now, too early to tell, and the thought of being away
from home when a storm might hit is worse than being in the path.  It takes allot of work to clear
the decks and take care of the home front while my aviator husband stays at the airport till the
last minute  to make sure the aircraft are gone or secure.  So, just to make things easier all around,
the deck clearing and spring cleaning will commence earlier than usual.
We are all stocked up and will top off some empty bleach bottles with water if need be.  We were in the
market for a new generator anyway, and today is delivery day.  
Our pool pump is run by solar panels and taking them down is the last task only when we are sure of
a direct hit, having a coconut smash the solar panels would not be pleasant.  
We are feeling some wind pick up now and much clearer skies today, the Sahara dust is not lingering
to protect us, think of how great the environment is now; very warm seas, low dust and  the time
of year  to be ready.  The Atlantic has normal chop today. 
Making sure all the laundry is caught up and that the propane tank is full always makes me feel
better about living without power if need be.  Checking the flashlights and getting some extra trash
bags is also part of the drill. 
I've had some inquiries from some folks that are coming down here this week, and all I can advise is
that you call your airline and ask what their policy is about changing tickets when a "named" storm
is headed towards your destination.  I don't think we'll have any serious issues with Ana but your
vacation may just not be great as we are in storm season from August till end of October, so please
plan your trips around that.  I do think we all need to pay extra attention to what "Bill" might become
and Storm Carib certainly is the tool to use for making decisions about travel and preparation. 
Tomorrow is our annual Texas Society Chili Cook Off, great fun and food for worthy causes on our
Brewers Beach near the University of the Virgin Islands, we are looking forward to raising awareness
for our cause ; see  www.savelindberghbay.com    and help us protect the leatherback turtle nests
that are currently incubating in St. Thomas.
Take care and STAY IN TOUCH, we need to know what is happening in the other islands. 

- Ana
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 06:35:40 -0400
Does not look too god this morning. Hopefully our luck will hold and she will turn to the North!
Ronnie Lockhart

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 08:51:16 -0400
Good Morning Island Neighbors,
This August map tracking from Africa is starting to look a little like  mid -September and you know
what that means.  PAY ATTENTION to the lower  circulation coming off of Africa and look at your
preparedness list again.  Just cleaning up around the house and decks is a good idea  and
have a few extra supplies on hand during this time of year. 
The weather gurus have predicted a less than normal season but the map looks  more serious now.
Being ready just helps getting thru storm season so much easier.  Looks like the cisterns will get
some topping off soon.
Help stop our government from dumping harbor dredge spoils in Lindbergh  Bay. 
See www.savelindberghbay.com   and do what you can to let your elected officials
know that polluting a crystal clear bay makes no sense.
Warm humid regards and get well wishes to Ms Mermaid
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi
West End, Fortuna, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- TD2 redux
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 19:34:56 -0400
So, it looks like it will go north. No need to worry!!! Great!

- TD 2
  • From: ronusvi <ronusvi at aol.com>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 09:19:51 -0400
Got to keep an eye on this one. So far it's looks like it's coming straight here,  but we know better!
Ronnie Lockhart

- Puerto Rico is Getting It Now
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:17:04 -0700
My aviator husband just called and said that flights out of Puerto Rico are being cancelled left and right now, even
some powerful private jets are staying grounded at this point, better safe than in the drink! 
We had a major blast of some kind of band of moisture that came in sideways and big drops around 2pm, I was at the beach
enjoying the view and then the view was gone in a minute, this came very fast and brought sogginess and now
very dull gray skies.
Mother Nature's way of warning us over and over again to be ready.
Stay in touch islanders and let us know how you are doing in Puerto Rico tonight. Take care and be safe.
Please visit our site and help us save the leatherback turtle nesting site in St. Thomas, please forward
it on  , thanks                   
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi
in the clouds now
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

- RAIN AND NESTING! Leatherback Turtle Checks in to Virgin Islands Resort - NatGeo News Watch
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 11:02:54 -0700
We are watching the dust move out and have had plenty of rain in the last few days to make the tomatoes really happy.
It appears we should all be ready to expect more rain from this system coming up the island chain and we need
to CHECK OUT the Storm Carib site  more often now.  The sea is warm enough and the dust is light enough to
create problems so  we are thankful for the winds that sheer.
I am attaching an overhead picture of one of my favorite "Sunday swimming beaches" a beautiful beach
called Lindbergh Bay, this is a south facing beach near the airport as you can see.  We had exciting news last week
when a huge leatherback turtle Mom came to lay her eggs and nest on this beach for the first time in many years.
Near the center of the photo you see some lounge chairs propped in a circle around the nest.  The hotel security guards and
other volunteers are watching over this nest 24-7 and  our community is looking forward to new baby turtles soon.
Recently this beach has been in the news as some proposed dredging spoils from our harbor may end up being dumped here. 
We are all very concerned and are working hard to stop this action.  A brilliant SOLUTION to the dumping was proposed by
our Senator James  to turn the dredging spoils into a road bed material, as we all know how our roads need improving here. 
We  know that no one would want to spoil these azure waters, we just need to work harder on making sure the best SOLUTION
allows for re-using the spoils rather than dumping them into the clear blue sea. 
Please check out the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC web story below about our turtles and the proposed dumping,
Please visit our site
to see how you can  get involved in protecting our leatherback turtles and  the  Caribbean sea.
WE NOW HAVE 40 DAYS TO APPEAL the proposal to dump in Lindbergh Bay.  Please email any leads, email addresses
of ocean watchdog groups, ideas to stop the dumping, and please FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE IN YOUR
ADDRESS BOOK that cares about keeping the sea clean for all of us and supporting  turtle nesting sites all over the Caribbean.
Thanks so much for your efforts, looking forward to your replies.
Jane Higgins
in Sunny St Thomas US Virgin Islands

Attachment: Turtles 033.jpg
Description: JPEG image

- Rain Just in Time
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 08:56:15 -0700
Good Morning to blue skies and a soft gentle rain, just in time for our  tomatoes and peppers that have been
too dry lately.  We saw clearer skies over the weekend; with some dissipation of African dust, the map seems to
forecast more coming later on in the week.  The wild parakeets were picking at our genip tree this morning ; it is
loaded with bundles of the sweet tart fruits now.  Every drop of rain sounds  like money in the bank or  cash
in the cisterns. The green planet movement has been focusing on bringing back rain barrels for gardens stateside,  
looks like we islanders are way ahead of that  retro-movement. 
The sea appears to be upwards of 85 degrees now around us,  we need to look daily at how we can be  ready
for any storms that may come our way. Constant clearing of loose items around the house and deck perimeters is
on the to do list now.
Our coconut man showed  up yesterday with his 5 kids in tow to do his bi-monthly harvest and cleaning of our
loaded up palm trees.  He drove away with a truck full of the woody fruits and left behind a nice trade in other
produce from his garden. We are working on putting together a coconut production trading program with some
of our farming neighbors.  Do any of you other islanders work on  co-op  gardening programs ? Please write in
any ideas or reports that you have. 
Jane Higgins
In the jungle hut on the West end of
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
jhigginswear at islands.com

- HOW TROPICAL IS IT? Our first pineapple!Emailing: IMG_0094
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 14:32:29 -0400

It's hot hot hot and the garden is cranking up.  We've had some really good rain in the last few days helping to
push out the Sahara dust.  It seems hotter than usual this early in the summer, have the fans cranked on "3" so not sure what
we'll do when it comes to August and September.  The pool is at 92 degrees so looking forward to it becoming a hot tub soon.
We are moving the tomatoes and peppers to cooler spots on the east side now, the deck is baking them!  This picture shows
pomegranate, and herbs in the  background are  tarragon and thyme.  We have had nice cucumbers and onions
are coming along ,everyone in the Caribbean should be able to grow some food and have enough to give away.
Here is our first pineapple!!!! We harvested it last night, it has 2 more babies coming on....took forever but absolutely the best we've ever tasted!
Looks like we'll have a few days of blue sky before the dust comes back and some moisture should be coming up
from the South.  Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.  Being prepared is the best stress reliever for later on in the season.

St Thomas US Virgin Islands
jhigginswear at islands.vi

Attachment: IMG_0094.jpg
Description: JPEG image

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 15:53:37 -0400
Realizing that June 1 has come and gone and that storm preparation season is here , it is the barking dogs
that wake up the reality of storm season every year around this little jungle hut on the west end of St Thomas.  A few weeks ago 
just past midnight the thunder boomers came, re-instilled total fear into our dogs Audrey and Ella (dumpster found coconut retrievers) and put
Max the shepard on full alert.  Audrey and Ella born and raised in the islands have experienced loud blustery storms for years , always forgetting
from quiet season to rumbling season that those thunder boomers are BACK.   
Again last Tuesday all day long the thunder was huge and the crackling seemed so close.  The dogs literally ran out on the deck when the storm
was at a distance and tried to bark it away.  As the temperature dropped, their brave barking turned  to drooling whimpering as they
hid in the kitchen, below the desk or any other place the human feet are.  Audrey, Ella and Max are  the lucky pups.  They hear the neighbor
dogs out in the tempest crying so loud at the end of their chains, in the rain.  Understanding abit about the science of weather saves modern humans;
listening to the sound of confused fearful whining and barking of those unprotected dogs is a sound hard to describe. 
Reality has kicked in looking at today's stormcarib map and we are in for some more rumbling, rain and panic among our canine friends.  If you can't
secure your dog in a dry safe place so fear doesn't drive him to wander, if you think that it is decent to leave any animal on a chain without shelter
in a storm then I wonder again, why have dogs? They are the most social of our domesticated animals and just need to be with us , with each other,
or safe and secure. 
Let us know how it is for you down island with this wave coming thru, and excuse my rant about dogs.  The cats seem to be oblivious to all of it whether
inside or out in the rain.  Maybe the lucky dogs will come back as cats in the their next life!
Jane Higgins 
St Thomas US Virgin Islands
jhigginswear at islands.vi

- Getting started
  • From: ronusvi at aol.com
  • Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 08:58:31 -0400
Weather has been icky these last two weeks. Cleared up yesterday and looks good so far today. I hear there may be another passing through this week. Season starts soon! Will get more regular with my reports.

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