August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean

La Ceiba is the little pink dot at lat. 15.77 N, long. -86.79 W
Map from Weather Underground

Several of you have asked whether Hurricane Dean will affect us here in Honduras. At this point on Saturday morning, all the experts are predicting that Hurricane Dean will pass well to the north of Honduras.

I did have a momentary scare this morning when I woke up. It was very dark about 8 a.m. and the darkness was coming from the north, the direction of the ocean, but it quickly passed over. That was rare as our storms almost always come from the east. Having never lived near the ocean before, somehow I thought that the storms would come from the direction of the sea.

I quickly checked the hurricane alerts and there has been no change as far as predictions for Honduras go. The Crown tropical weather site seems to pull together all the various tropical storm information onto one page and I've been checking that pretty regularly. It's too bad that when we really need to know, there probably won't be electricity or internet connection to do so.

I am a weather sissy as 3 inches of rain (8 cm.) in Dallas is (used to be?) a major weather event. Here in La Ceiba, even the normal rain storms that don't merit the "tropical storm" designation tend to scare the beegeebers out of me. Here in Honduras, we can get 3 inches in the first 10 minutes!

Part of the scariness is that with these flimsy, poorly made aluminum windows, it doesn't take a lot for the rain to start pouring into the house and the wind makes these really scary ghost-like howling noises as it comes through the joints in the windows.

Our house is located about 2 miles from the ocean (3 km.) and very high in our colonia. The surrounding streets, which do look like torrential rivers during a rainstorm, all slope down away from our house. There is a creek behind our house but it is some 20-25 feet (6-8 m.) below the level of our house. So all in all, we feel very safe from flooding.

Two blogs that I read are in the direct path:

Jen on the island of Dominica, from the Living Dominica blog, is
really, really, scared.

Kingston Girl on Jamaica, was making preparations yesterday.

Click on this map from Hurricane Alley and you can see a large map of the day by day predictions.

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