I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times over the last few years I’ve responded to worries about the weather and hear this statement from visiting island guests:
We checked the weather and it says it’s going to rain, should we panic, is our whole vacation ruined?
Unlike the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean has never been known to have abundant rain fall. A look at a local water delivery bill even during hurricane season will show that we simply don’t get enough rain. The temperature remains roughly the same from day-to-day maybe 5 degrees warmer or cooler, but always above 80. Humidity also remains consistently high making it feel even hotter. Locals on island become obsessive about weather only when there is a threat of a tropical storm or hurricane growing and heading in our direction. To help you understand why the weather app on your iPhone is completely inaccurate:
- The nearest US weather station for St John and St Thomas is located in Puerto Rico, 40 miles away.
- They deliver a weather prediction based on a reading that encompasses an ENORMOUS area; which includes St John, St Thomas, St Croix, and the entire British Virgin Islands a 70+ mile radius.
- If the weather says 50% chance of rain, that means it is expected to rain at some point in the day in 50% of the GIANT forecasted area.
- If the weather says 100% chance of rain, it is ABSOLUTELY going to rain somewhere in the Virgin Islands.
- Typically weather is extremely localize (like a single cloud). I’ve watched a down pour on one end of Cinnamon Bay, while on the other end we’re relaxing in full sunshine
As a family and wedding photographer on St John I rely on sunshine and blue skies. I have become rather skilled at reading my Weather Underground app to predict rain using the radar and read wind patterns like a skilled sailor. I have a solid weather policy and if there is too much rain I will make the call 1-hour before a scheduled session to reschedule. I don’t over book myself so that if we do have a rare full day of rain, I can easily reschedule.