climate and weather
Barbuda’s climate is sub-tropical with a temperature range from 18°C to 45°C. Rainfall is seasonal, usually with an average of under 100 cm per year, very dry. There are no rivers, streams or lakes but fortunately underground water is found in reasonable quantities and water is obtained from wells – some newly built and others that are very old but still maintained. Most households collect rainwater for drinking and household use in cisterns and tanks. There is a newly operational de-salination plant that although damaged in the hurricane provides limited water to those within reach of the village pipes.
Vegetation tends to be scrubby woodland, with wattles used for charcoal and fencing, and very few trees over ten metres except for tamarind and mango trees. There are numerous drought-tolerant cacti and succulents. Barbudans clear plots of land outside the vilage to grow fruit and vegetables including peas and beans, corn, sweet potato, yams, melons, bananas and plantain, and fruit trees such as mango, sugar-apple, pomegranite, soursop and guava. In Codrington village when the weather has been good to us there are colourful displays of hibiscus, pride of barbados, lady of the night, bouganvillia and many others as Barbudans tend their gardens.
alternative energy for Barbuda
A study carried out in 2002 by Richard Bicknell, at that time a student at the Institute of Energy at De Montfort University in Leicester, paved the way for the potential for real change as it explored the possibility of an alternative energy project for Barbuda. Since that time no progress has been made and throughout the village we are still dependent on unreliable diesel generators for power.
live weather updates – the best sites
and now we have to talk about…hurricanes
Statistically September has produced the most dangerous storms for Barbuda with more direct hits here in this month, as tropical waves come lower off the African coast straight towards us. Hurricane Irma above was no exception – hitting Barbuda on September 5/6th 2017 – it was described by the rest of the world as a ‘super-storm’ and was the worst Category 4 storm (the highest category) in living memory. It devastated every home and business and forced the evacuation of the whole island to Antigua (Irma did not hit Antigua although nearly all of Barbuda’s aid went via the Antigua government who were unwilling and/or unable to distribute it to us) It took two years to get electricity back and some people are still re-building and living in tents. The aftermath of the hurricane has almost been worse for the island than the hurricane itself.[row_inner_3] [col_inner_3 span=”4″ span__sm=”12″]
The worst hurricane prior to this was 22 years before – Hurricane Luis – which was a Category 4 or 5 while it was over Barbuda in September 1995. This time it hit both islands and again the aftermath was made worse by the lack of response from Antigua to Barbuda.
We have had many small hurricanes and big tropical storms that bring rain, flooding, wind damage and of course affects our tourism. These terribly destructive storms are still rare, although if you are travelling at any time during the long hurricane season – which starts in June and ends in November – be prepared for disruption on a large scale if we are in the path of any storm. There is a high level of unpredictability in tropical storm and hurricane movement, size and speed. The very high winds, dangerous seas, flooding and loss of essential services such as transport and electricity may last several months.[row_inner_4] [col_inner_4 span=”6″ span__sm=”12″]