Friday, July 14, 2017

Accurate weather forecasting, island-style

Good morning from Isla - what's the weather today?  

Our weather forecast for the next ten days is a chance of a thunderstorm, with temperatures ranging from 31 degrees Celsius to 36 degrees Celsius.  That’s hot! 

And maybe it will be true, and maybe it won’t.

We’ll let you know at the end of the ten days.


Photo taken from internet news - summer snow storm in BC

Being Canadians we are totally obsessed with weather. In Canada the conditions can vary tremendously in one day from hot and sunny to downright cold with snow and ice, but hopefully not in the months of June, July, August, September or October. Although driving through the high-mountain passes of British Columbia in August we have experienced snow. Not our idea of a fun summertime road-trip!


Getting wet - but the sun was back in 15 minutes
Here on Isla we still compulsively check two different internet weather sites. I like Intellicast and Lawrie prefers Weather Underground. Other island friends use Windguru, or Accuweather, plus a relatively new one called WeatherSpark. May to October we both also check NOAA, the American based National Weather Service for potential tropical storms.

The strange thing is the forecasts are only about 50% accurate, even with the satellite images and computer modeling. The forecast might be for a chance of thundershowers with the possibility of 117mm of rain, about 4.5 inches, but we’ll have a hot sunny day with absolutely no rain.

Looking from Isla towards the storm over Cancun

If we happen to look towards Cancun, a few miles to the west, they likely will be experiencing the forecasted rain. 

Now that’s the very odd thing, because there are no mountains in the state of Quintana Roo. It is a relatively flat piece of land with the highest point in the entire state being located in the south-western region, and rising a grand total of 230 meters above sea level, or about 750 feet. 

There is nothing very tall in the entire state to ‘snag’ the clouds to hold them over the city, yet Cancun seems to get more rain than Isla.

Showers headed our way
Over time Lawrie and I have become amateur weather forecasters. We look towards the ocean; if the clouds are dark and the horizon is hazy we have ten minutes to shut windows and pull in outdoor cushions. 

Then twenty minutes later we open windows and put out the cushions. It’s a tough life!  

When making your vacation plans don’t be put off by the forecast of grumpy weather. It may or may not be accurate.

Sign that was near the naval base - haven't seen it recently.
There was for a very short time a humorous sign, complete with a large stone suspended from a rope, posted near the Isla Mujeres Quinta Region Naval base. 

It pretty much summed up weather forecasting on Isla Mujeres. 

The stone is wet: it’s raining.  The stone is dry: it’s not raining.  The stone is swinging: it’s windy. The stone is still: it’s not windy. There is no stone: it’s blowing a hurricane. There are two stones: you’re drunk.

The morale of the story, you’ll know what the weather is going to be when it is happening.

Hasta Luego from paradise
Lynda & Lawrie



Treasure Isla
Have you got yours yet?


Treasure Isla is a humorous Caribbean adventure set on Isla Mujeres, a tiny island off the eastern coast of Mexico. Two twenty-something women find themselves in possession of a seemingly authentic treasure map, which leads them on a chaotic search for buried treasure while navigating the dangers of too much tequila, disreputable men, and a killer. And there is a dog, a lovable rescue-mutt. 

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The cover of Treasure Isla has a new look courtesy of one of my favourite mystery writers Carmen Amato. She is the creator of the popular Emilia Cruz Detective series set in Acapulco.