Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Holidays...

I hope you have had a wonderful Holiday Season. Since my last blog entry a few weeks ago I have been very busy. My wife and I finally went on our much belated honeymoon. Because of work we were unable to go on our honeymoon when we got married in June so we put it off until December. We went to a little resort in St. Lucia called Ladera. It was an amazing place between the Piton Mountains in St. Lucia. The picture at the top of the blog was of us on the beach below the resort. We actually had to take a little shuttle down to the beach because our resort was 1000 feet up the side of a mountain. This picture was taken from our room. The cool thing about the place we stayed was that our room only had 3 walls. There was no wall on the western side facing the Caribbean Sea. Needless to say, the sunsets were amazing! The cool thing was that because of the elevation it was never uncomfortable in our room. Daytime highs were in the low 80s with nighttime lows in the mid 70s. Humidity levels were pretty tolerable too. Nothing compared to Georgia in the summer! :-)

Being a meteorologist I was of course very interested in the weather. It turns out that most of the development on St. Lucia is on the western (Caribbean) side of the island. The eastern (Atlantic) side is very windy with very few beaches. Because of its latitude (13 degrees), St. Lucia is impacted by the westward moving trade winds. Those winds are quite strong after blowing across the Atlantic with only the friction of the water.

It rained 5-10 times per day which may surprise you. The funny thing was that I have never cared less about it raining at the beach. The rains were very light and lasted no more than 5-10 minutes before moving on. As a matter a fact, most times my wife and I did not even both to move from our chairs.

The other cool about St. Lucia is that it rains because of orographic lifting. This is when the mountains cause the air to rise, condense, and then produce rainfall. This picture was taken looking east toward the Atlantic from the top of the Gros (Big) Piton mountain, which my wife and I climbed (2600 ft). It was quite a struggle, but it was well worth it! The trade winds blow into the eastern side of the island, that air is lifted by the mountains, and then it rains. Needless to say, there were a lot of rainbows seen while we were there.
We got back from the honeymoon the week before Christmas and since then it has been pretty much all work. My wife and I celebrated our first Christmas together which was nice and I must say, Santa was very good to me this year. ;-) I hope he was good to you!

Have a good weekend and I will talk to you next year! :-)


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