Thursday, November 1, 2007

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

Hey, it is hard keeping up with a blog every couple of days. I have good intentions, but time gets the better of me.

I have received a lot of questions about the tropical storm Noel, which came across the TCI this week. I am actually in the states for a couple of weeks to get business in order and bring my family down. So in fact, the storm has not affected me at all. In this blog I will quickly report on storms.

If you look at the history of hurricanes, the TCI gets hit by a major storm every twenty years or so. Some decades, like the 1890s and 1900s, the islands were hit every two years. But in a larger pattern it is very unusual. Why, you might ask?

This year is a good example. In August, hurricane Dean came through the Caribbean Sea, south of Hispaniola and Cuba. The top of the storm just touched the TCI. On ugust 21, the category 5 eye slammed into the Yucatan peninsula. In September, Felix came through the Caribbean Sea along the very same line. On September 4, the category 3 storm hit Nicaragua.

In late September, tropical depression Ingrid was predicted to grow into a category 3 storm and the center track of the storm was to come right across the TCI. This storm moved north into the Atlantic and dispersed.

These storms are very typical. The currents, heat, and wind cause the majority of tropical storms to stay south of the TCI, or to veer far north. Noel did not follow this typical pattern. This storm developed in the Caribbean Sea and on October 29 it came directly north across Haiti and into the Bahamas. The storm came across the TCI on the 29 and 30. The storm was growing, but coming across the mountains of Hispaniola (island of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) the storm lost all of its power. There was more wind than usual and two days of rain in the TCI. People I heard from were very happy to have their cisterns filled. After leaving the Bahamas, Noel gained strength in the open ocean and grew into a hurricane.

I have had many nights when I have awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of huge rain storms. In the morning the sea is always very rough. When I look at, there are always huge storms far north in the Atlantic that we are getting the tail of. Most houses on Grand Turk depend on a rain catchment system to supply water throughout the house, so the storms and the rain are never seen as a bad thing. Water is life.

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