Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Watching the Weather

Watching the weather is something we do at all times.
It's not like when we lived on land and wanted to know what the temperature would be or did we need to carry an umbrella.  It's so much more now.  Can we safely make a passage, will the conditions make an anchorage uncomfortable, will there be enough rain to collect water, etc?   Weather watching never feels more important then in hurricane season.  There have been 16 named storms so far this year and 2 have become hurricanes.  Early this morning invest 98L became Tropical Storm Ophelia.

We have been watching this system closely because as it developed off of Africa it moved slowly, staying at about 10 degrees north.  We are anchored off of the south coast of Grenada at 12 degrees north.  Several predictions had it moving directly over Grenada.  In the last day it moved and is currently at 12.7 degrees.  Of course one man's good luck is another man's misfortune.  The islands north of us may not fair as well.

We will continue to watch this storm because predicting the weather is certainly not an absolute science.  The people of Grenada know only too well how a hurricane can turn as Hurricane Ivan did in 2004 when it took a sudden turn and blasted the island.
Wikipedia reports: The cyclone was the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Ivan formed in early September and became the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. At its peak in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan was the size of the state of Texas. It also spawned 119 tornadoes across the eastern United States.

Ivan caused catastrophic damage to Grenada and heavy damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the western tip of Cuba. After peaking in strength, the hurricane moved north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to strike Gulf Shores, Alabama as a strong Category 3 storm, causing significant damage.

The reality is that you are much more at risk of hurricanes along the coastal United States then we are here in Grenada.  History has proven that.  But just in case, we'll continue to keep watch.