76.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, February 23, 2024


What's up with the weather?
Everybody is talking about how cold it is.
Everybody, that is, but the weather service.
According to Henry Laskosky, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico, a combination of cloud cover and wind is driving down the temperature in St. Thomas.
Laskosky said if it weren't for the cloud cover, temperatures Monday would have reached a high of 78 to 80 degrees.
But according to officials at the FAA tower at Cyril E. King Airport, the temperatures did reach a high of 77 degrees, which is average for this time of year.
That’s not what local residents are experiencing though, including some who maintain the daytime temperatures Monday were in the low '70s.
“I don’t remember it being this cold in a very long time — maybe not ever,” said Bill Jowers, general manager of Magens Bay.
“I have to go out tomorrow and buy jackets for the lifeguards and all the people who are taking a CPR course at the beach,” Jowers said.
Jowers, who was born here, said he got up early in the morning — 3 or 4 a.m. — and the thermometers at his house registered 70 degrees.
“What nobody is taking into account is the wind-chill factor,” Jowers said.
The wind was gusting at 39 mph at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Jose Penn, chief financial officer of Penn's Corp. in St. John, said he, too, doesn’t remember it ever being this cold.
“When I heard about the hail in St. John back a few months ago, I didn’t believe it,” Penn said. “I believe it now.”
Mary Davis, former industrial arts teacher at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, said, “When I first came here in the early 70s it was kind of like this. I was even thinking of getting an electric blanket back then.”
Then it got “hot, hot, hot,” according to Davis’s recollection.
“But now it seems like it did when I was first here. I was freezing last night.”
Freezing seems a strong word for the normally balmy tropics, but it is a
word heard more and more as the wind, cloud cover and rain make for what “feels”like unusually cold temperatures in the tropical Virgin Islands.
And what is the wind chill?
Using a wind chill factor formula from www.weatherimages.org, given a temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind velocity of 25 mph, it “feels” like it is 64 degrees Fahrenheit -— a bit chilly for a locale with
few fireplaces.

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