LIQUID SUNSHINE

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:46 pm

WEATHER … FROM TOBAGO … 6TH JANUARY 2019

As expected, it has been quite dry with just one period of rain a couple of nights ago. There have also been sone light showers and some days have been quite cloudy.

But the Saharan Air is limiting rainfall ... I thought last year was good but this year has been better although Tobago should be having more rain than this ... from day to day there has been little rain of significance.

There is some rainfall activity over the mainland of South America and a plume of this moved north but only affected Grenada. Otherwise, the whole Caribbean is dry.

So the only rain risk is from South America, otherwise it should stay dry with some light showers and sunshine when the clouds part.

The sea state is calm and is expected to get calmer over this week ... this is a good time to be in Tobago or anywhere in the Caribbean.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:54 pm

WEATHER … 15TH JANUARY 2019

I am sorry that I did not post on Sunday as I usually do … I decided to make a last minute trip to my favourite place on the Saturday and this mean't that Sunday was a '100% packing and loads of stress' day before the horrid flight home … no disrespect to Thomas Cook who were fantastic but flights home are pretty awful through no fault of Thomas Cook … oh and we did the Barbados thing but it was ok (we prepared for it).

Over the 4 weeks I was in Tobago it was generally sizzling sunshine. I thought last year was good but this year was incredible and, perhaps, defines what they call the 'dry season'.

There was rain but not much of it … perhaps last Friday was the rainiest but it was showers.

Ther situation has not changed with a dense saharan dust layer which will restrict rainfall and this applies, not just to Tobago, to most of the Caribbean.

When I arrived, Tobago was green and lush but when I left it started to look a little brown and dry.

Enjoy it but be careful of the sun, even I got a little burnt this year and that is probably the first time since I was a child.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:42 pm

WEATHER … 20TH JANUARY 2019
FAIR WEATHER CONTINUES … SIGNALS OF HEAVY SEAS LATER THIS WEEK


Dry Season? Yes it is dry season … literally.

I would say that during my recent visit to Tobago there was 1 showery day for 6 dry days … and this looks like continuing with any rainfall more likely at night or during the early hours. The Saharan dust layer remains dense and Tobago is in the thick of it … please note that the dry air does not stop rain, it limits it.

I have noted Paul Makin's comment about cool temperatures at night and I have seen other blogs suggesting temperatures as low as 17C … this is due mostly to the continuous clear skies and more heat can escape when there are no clouds, even in the tropics … by day, the sunshine makes up for it and has been particularly severe, although temperatures have rarely exceeded 26 / 27C.

Add this to low humidity levels then it makes holidays much more comfortable for those visiting from cooler climates, a novelty for locals but the sea feels nice and warm, being at a steady 25 / 26C and this would be a pleasurable contrast for swimmers that enjoy going for a dip in the dark, although it may well feel a little nippy when you get back out of the sea!

I have been monitoring signals that a spell of heavy seas could affect most of the eastern and central Caribbean from mid-week as High pressure is squeezed southwards by a weather system north of Cuba. This normally has the effect of increasing or tightening the pressure gradients and consequently this strengthens the trade winds. Cause and Effect ... big waves, although it will depend to an extent on which direction the swells are coming from.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:50 am

WEATHER … 27TH JANUARY 2019
FINE WEATHER CONTINUES … POTENTIAL TRAVEL DISRUPTION IN EUROPE AND US


This amazing fine weather continues for Tobago and most of the Caribbean. Yesterday (Saturday) was fairly cloudy with some rain but otherwise the weather has been very fair.

I can't see an end to these fine conditions this week apart from maybe one potentially cloudy day and there should be occasional showers.

Getting to the Caribbean could be quite problematic this week with severe weather conditions expected in the UK and Europe from Tuesday and very severe conditions in the US so there could be a few contingency plans needed for travellers from these areas, so watch your local weather reports.


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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:06 am

WEATHER … 3RD FEBRUARY 2019
CONTINUING FAIR WITH AN INCREASE IN SHOWERS


Little has changed and the good weather continues, however there has been a small increase in rainfall in recent days.

The reason for this is that the dry Saharan air layer has become a little fragmented in the eastern Caribbean and this allows rainclouds to form more readily.

But I am talking about showers and not persistent rain. It's no bad thing.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:17 pm

WEATHER … 10TH FEBRUARY 2019
GOOD WEATHER CONTINUES


I am feeling like a broken record by repeating predictions of fair weather every week.

Although there will always be showers, it has been very dry since the rain and flooding in October 2018 and I would not be surprised if a water shortage arises if this fair weather continues for the longer term.

This week the only notable weather is expected to be wind / gales, mostly in the south west and central Caribbean, as high pressure builds southwards and increases the pressure gradients. This could increase sea heights and would be perfect for wind surfers near Pigeon Pointless and surfers at Mount Irvine.


That reminds me that, for the first time ever on my last trip, I went for a snorkel around the surfing area (while the surfers were having a snooze!) in Mount Irvine and there are some very pretty corals there and plenty of fish ... I guess surfers are aware of this but I think it would be very painful for anyone that falls off their board and grazes their pretty flesh on those sharp corals.

We often think that Corals are fragile (and they are) but we are more fragile and it is not funny at all to collide with it, spike yourself on a sea urchin or rub yourself along fire coral.

So ... waves don't suit snorkellers and calm does not suit surfers so I would recommend any snorkellers have a bash at the north end of Mount Irvine when it's calm.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:57 am

WEATHER … 17TH FEBRUARY
RAIN TODAY AND STRONG TRADES


Although the generally fine weather patterns have not changed, a rain streamer from Venezuela is bringing much needed rain to Tobago today.

This happens quite often but this year it has been rare, but it is the only source of wet weather during this exceptionally dry season.

I expect the weather to return to sunshine and showers for the rest of the week.

As with last week, gales are expected this week and this brings the chance of moderate seas, especially from mid-week.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:05 pm

WEATHER … 24TH FEBRUARY 2019
FINE WEATHER CONTINUES


There is really little to say as the fine weather continues. I think this is probably the best dry season that I have known with only a few rainy periods.

The Atlantic High has hardly budged and this has pumped dry air from Africa's Saharan Desert right across the Atlantic continuously for about 3 months.

There are showers as is normal (like today) and the wind can pick up at times bringing moderate seas.

If this weather pattern continues much longer I could find myself being made redundant !

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:53 pm

WEATHER ... 3RD MARCH 2019
A LITTLE MORE UNSETTLED THIS WEEK


The Atlantic High has built eastwards towards Africa and this is reducing the dry Saharan influence over the Caribbean.

As the dry influence weakens then rain showers will form more readily

The NHC is forecasting trade showers but the satellite loops clearly show rain streamers moving from South America towards the northeast over the Caribbean Sea.

This is mostly affecting the central Caribbean with Tobago currently on the eastern fringe of these showers.

So for the week ahead; sunshine and showers but don't be surprised if there is a day or 2 of more persistent rain.

Trade winds are also expected to intensify around mid-week and this could bring moderate to high seas towards the end of the week.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:47 pm

WEATHER … 10TH MARCH 2019
FINE WITH OCCASIONAL RAIN


This week looks like being a repeater of last week.

The Atlantic High is still positioned to the east, close to Africa and there is some unsettled weather over northern areas of the Caribbean.

The direction of the weather is currently from east to west with an area of trade showers approaching Tobago now and this looks like being the trend, however there may be the occasional rain streamer coming off the rainforests of South America as they did last week.

So for next week, sunshine, showers and possibly a prolonged period of rain (normally overnight).

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:10 pm

WEATHER … 17TH MARCH 2019
CHANGEABLE THIS WEEK


There was a fair amount of rain last week … this was not trade showers, but north easterly rain streamers moving off the rainforests of South America, bringing longer periods of rain to the south east Caribbean. The dry Saharan influence is not always influential enough to prevent this weather and now there is very little dry air over Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and Barbados.

This week, a fairly deep low pressure is sandwiched between 2 areas of High pressure. One in the north Caribbean and one in the mid to east Atlantic. This will increase pressure gradients and bring gales to most of the Caribbean and particularly in the south west Caribbean where another low pressure system is lurking over Columbia.

I am not sure how far south the gales will go but the surfing sea forecasts indicate that it should stay moderate around Tobago all week.

So this week … rain streamers off South America are likely to continue and this could bring some lengthy spells of rain to Tobago from time to time, particularly at night because this rain begins it's development over the rainforests in the afternoons before it streams north to north east.

It is not uncommon for one area to have no rain while an area a few miles away gets a good dunking. These rain streamers are quite narrow and sometimes only 50 miles wide and some islands could be under a streamer for hours or up to a day.

There should be plenty of sunshine otherwise.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:10 pm

WEATHER … 24th MARCH, 2019
DRY SAHARAN INFLUENCE IS BACK


The Atlantic High is now dominating Tobago's weather with strong trades and trade showers. This looks set to be the pattern for this week for the southern half of the Caribbean … the weather is very unsettled from Cuba northwards and into the Gulf.

A Depression over the rainforests of South America is the only risk of causing persistent rain to Tobago and this could also depend how dense the Saharan influence is.

I am expecting a good week of weather ahead.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:38 pm

WEATHER 31ST MARCH 2019
STREAMERS FROM SOUTH AMERICA


Last week was good for Tobago until Thursday when the South American Streamers started to get going.

Thunderous weather over the South American rainforests continues today and, as they move north east, they are cutting into the dry Saharan Dust.

It was hit and miss but the satellite loops indicate that Tobago had plenty of rain Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The rest of the Caribbean is quite unsettled but for different reasons. Tobago's curse is often the weather from South America.

There are plenty more streamers around tonight as I type this post so I would expect more of the same for another day or 2 until the Atlantic High regains control towards the middle of this week.

Towards the end of the week the trades are expected to pick up, bringing an increase in sea swells.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:48 pm

WEATHER … 7TH APRIL 2019
LESS RAIN THIS WEEK


The South American rain streamers persisted for most of last week although the distribution of rain will have varied widely across the south eastern Caribbean. Observation of the sat-loops indicates that Tobago received a good share of it.

The direction of the weather has clearly changed. Yesterday the rain streamers died out and have now been replaced by the trade weather carried on strong winds from the east.

This will bring sunshine and showers and this direction does not have the potential to bring as much rain unless it is an organised Tropical Wave and these Waves are more common during the wet season which starts in June.

So the week ahead for Tobago looks better than last week although the trade winds will likely bring some moderate to heavy sea swells.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:33 pm

WEATHER … 14TH APRIL 2019
CHANGEABLE WEEK AHEAD


The Caribbean is being affected by unsettled weather.

To the north is an active weather front trailing off an area of extreme thundery weather over the mid-US.

Across the middle of the Caribbean it is more settled but impacts from the north and the south could affect these areas.

Across the southern Caribbean there are strong trade winds which can pick up the seas but the South America streamers have been coming back, bringing areas of rain northwards and particularly over the south eastern Caribbean.

These streamers are quite resistant to the Saharan dust layer, punching holes in it and bringing persistent periods of rain to the Dutch Antilles, Trinidad & Tobago and as far north as St Lucia.

So the advice is to take your activities day by day because this weather is very unpredictable. Some areas may get little rain while the unlucky ones have a fairly wet week overall.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:28 am

WEATHER … 21ST APRIL 2019
CHANGEABLE THIS WEEK


The weather across the north Atlantic is cooking up some abnormal or extreme conditions.

The UK is basking in well above average temperatures and the US has experience some extremely disturbed weather which is now leaving the eastern coast. This weather system's trough is dragging itself across the northern Caribbean and will bring northerly winds behind it.

In the mid-Atlantic is a large depression that is breaking the normal flow of trade winds.

In the extreme south and east Caribbean the South American streamers have been steady all of last week, bringing periods of rain to the Dutch Antilles, Trinidad, Tobago and as far north as Antigua at times.

Could there be an improvement? I think so … the rain streamers have become weaker in the last day or 2 but the general weather pattern supports this type of weather continuing although perhaps not as actively as last week.

So this week is difficult to predict with the likeliest scenario bring more settled weather towards the end of this week because it will take time for the normal weather patterns to reset, if at all.

This does not mean rain all week … there should be plenty of sunshine but also some cloudy and / or rain periods from time to time.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:10 pm

WEATHER … 28TH APRIL 2019
LESS RAIN THIS WEEK?
A HOTTER WET SEASON THIS YEAR


There was rather a lot more rain last week than I expected with the South American rain streamers cutting into the dry Saharan air layer and affecting most of the south east Caribbean.

The weather was not much better elsewhere in the Caribbean last week with unsettled weather over the US extending southwards towards the Gulf, Cuba and Hispaniola.

This week, High Pressure is forming in the north Caribbean and over the southern US and this is expected to push southwards, increasing the pressure gradients. A consequence of this is stronger trade winds and I would hope that this development will keep the rain streamers over South America.

But with stronger trades come heavier seas that are expected to increase steadily throughout next week.

So I am nervously predicting better weather this week as the trades build.


The upcoming Wet Season

Those that are planning a holiday to Tobago (or anywhere in the Caribbean) between June and December this year (the wet season) should expect higher levels of humidity than normal. Last December / January I was struck by the warmth of the sea while the air temperature was a little lower by day and considerably lower overnight. The sea temperature should be about 22 - 24 degrees centigrade but it was more like 27 degrees centigrade. I would expect the sea temperature to nudge 30 or 31 during this year's wet season.

I am not a fan of air-conditioning but back in 2013, the only time I have visited Tobago in June / July I did admit defeat even though the weather at this time of year was the best I had ever experienced.

This year is looking considerably warmer and the sea temperatures will rise further. This does not necessarily mean that Hurricanes will spawn over Tobago, it is rare, however the sea temperature is the factor that influences the strength of Storms with Tobago's main threat coming from the rainforests of South America, possibly spawning or contributing to Tropical Waves, Depressions and possibly Storms passing by, normally to the north of Tobago.

Where Storms and Hurricanes occur, the sea cools so I am hoping there are more this year.

Otherwise the sea temperature will probably kill off more Coral. I have seen a lot of whitening along the Caribbean coast and it was reported to me that the Englishmans Bay reef is now totally dead … so I didn't go there but I will make a point of verifying this on my next visit.

My point is that it will be very hot generally … lovely calm weather for most of the time but uncomfortable, particularly at night.

On a more positive note, the Corals along the Charlottevile beach seem to be recovering after being virtually destroyed by landslips back in November 2004 when a Tropical Depression dumped over 16 inches of rain over Tobago in about 16 hours.

I would like it if people could report on this forum if they see any damage to corals or perhaps I may set up a forum for Environmental reports and discussion here in the weather section.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun May 05, 2019 5:35 pm

WEATHER … 5TH MAY 2019
WEATHER PATTERNS ARE CHANGING … GLOBAL WARMING
IS THE WET SEASON ARRIVEING EARLY THIS YEAR?


Globally, there have been more flooding events in 2019 than normal and, in some cases. where you would not expect at this time of year … Borneo, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, south east Africa for example, although the flooding in south east Africa has been attributed to sea warming arising from the activity of an undersea volcano west of Mozambique ... as a consequence, 2 Tropical Cyclones have exploded over the cooking seas and impacted south east Africa within the last 6 weeks.

Of course, weather events like these stoke the warnings of global warming and I agree that humanity has been and still is taking liberties with the resources that our only home (Earth) provides us, however I believe that our home has it's own methods of managing it's temperature and some of the warming is down to natural forces too … humans are simply contributing to the phenomena.

We need to be mindful that our home has warmed and cooled many times over in the millions of years before we (humans) took the highest podium and life will go on with or without us … we are not that important but we think only of ourselves instinctively, as do all other living organisms that share our home.

In October 2018 it was Trinidad's turn (and probably not the last) to experience extreme flooding as the Caroni Swamp spilled over the surrounding lowlands, displacing thousands and inundating homes. Naturally, we are not surprised that extreme weather events are occurring in the polar regions and tropical regions of our home but in recent years the polar and tropical conditions have begun to have a more regular impact on temperate zones, the areas between the climate extremes and the winter of 2018/19 in the US plus the recent extreme weather conditions are a very good example of this with much of the energy coming from … guess where? … the cooking Caribbean.

Last week I commented on the high sea temperature in the Caribbean. This is going to energize the atmosphere during the 2019 Hurricane Season. I have already resisted starting up the 2019 Hurricane Season Forum this week due to a tropical disturbance (that will come to nothing) off the east coast of Florida.

Of course there are numerous other components needed to spawn extreme storms but one of the most important components, the cooking sea temperatures in the Caribbean, is strong this year.

This will mean storms, probably bigger storms, but it also means more rain not necessarily triggered by storms … we will see … judge my comments in December.


Anyway, this week … High pressure is to the north east of the Caribbean and shifting east to hopefully recover the Atlantic High's default position.

Low pressure over west Venezuela and Columbia is pushing rain streamers north into the southern Caribbean bringing sporadic rain to all areas as far north as Cuba.

As the High Pressure goes east then the rainfall could increase across the Caribbean generally but, with Tobago at the extreme south east of the Caribbean, rainfall totals should be lower and Tobago should have more in the way of sunshine than the rest of the Caribbean.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun May 12, 2019 10:15 am

WEATHER … 12TH MAY 2019
PLENTY OF RAIN THIS WEEK


May has, so far, been quite a wet month for Tobago. The rainfall now extends across all of the central and eastern Caribbean with only the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba rain-free.

2 troughs / tropical waves are enhancing the rainfall. One has just passed Tobago and there is another one on the way so I don't expect this rainy period to end in the next few days.

There will be occasional sunshine but unsettled conditions will be the dominant factor this week.

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Re: LIQUID SUNSHINE

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun May 19, 2019 9:52 pm

WEATHER … 19TH MAY 2019
TRANSITION TIME?


Last week proved to be nowhere near as wet as I thought it could be for Tobago but the rainfall, where and when it happened, was very heavy.

I am seeing a transition towards the Hurricane (or wet) Season. Sea temperatures are high and some localised disturbances are kicking off without the classic Atlantic approach.

The NHC are reporting on a disturbance east of Florida but this should not develop … too close to land and I am resisting the urge to start the 2019 Hurricane Forum.

The seas appear to be rising and this guides pregnant turtles to their chosen beaches to lay their eggs. By July some will be hatching while the mothers continue to make nests.

The weather is becoming more unpredictable but, at this time of year, it can be calm and serene or, less often so, squally.

This is my favourite time of year … until late November the weather can be at it's best or at it's worst, but not always.

Today I have seen a few localised showers over Tobago but serious rainfall has not been far away … may this continue.

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