Anniversary / by Alan Strathman

June 12, 2016--I arrived in St. Lucia one year ago today.  The year has gone quickly, though when I think about the day I arrived it feels like a lifetime ago. On Friday, my group of volunteers went to the airport to greet the new cohort of volunteers. They have quite a year ahead of them.

The day I arrived in St. Lucia it was sunny and warm, like about 340 of the days that followed. Today is cloudy and rainy, which is always a pleasure.  When you come to St. Lucia on holidays a cloudy day is unfortunate.  If you live here, it's delightful. But I have learned that when it is cloudy and rainy here, somewhere else is probably getting hit by a tropical storm or hurricane. When a tropical storm is in the vicinity (i.e., anywhere in the Atlantic I think) we get an email from the Peace Corps alerting us to the situation. Here is the most recent note:

An upper trough over the northeast Atlantic is supporting a cold front that enters the area near 32N32W and extends to 30N42W. A weak surface ridge dominates the remainder of the Atlantic anchored by a 1019 mb high in the east Atlantic near 25N27W and a 1021 mb high the central Atlantic near 25N59W. Tropical Storm Colin will continue to accelerate northeast out of the area today. Scattered showers as well as Strong winds and large seas will persist across the northern waters of the west Atlantic today through Wednesday night.

Because I do not have a degree in metereology, this is unhelpful. I understand that the storm is 32N32W, but where the hell am I? I just looked it up and discovered that my village of Laborie is 14N61W.  OK, now what? I think I am north and west of the storm and the warning says the storm is moving north and east so I think St. Lucia is out of it's path.  But I could have any part of this wrong.

What would be more helpful is a weather alert system, maybe similar to the U.S. terror alert system:


But general vs. significant vs. high vs. severe threat? Too complicated. St. Lucians would not really resonate with this system.  They need something closer to this:


Good news! Currently we are in condition: