Monthly Archives: October 2012
The weather here in Panama, the last couple of days, has been really lousy. While we are in that part of the “rainy season” when our rainfall is greatest what we’re been going through now is unusual. Just to recap what I’ve said about the “rainy season” before…It doesn’t normally rain 31 (that’s 24/7). Most mornings are glorious. Blue skies, puffy white clouds until early afternoon. Then things start to cloud up and just before early evening the sky dumps several inches of water in a couple of hours. Yesterday morning (Wed. Oct. 24), was one of those very rare days when I woke up to rain. I can’t remember more than three or four mornings like that in the two and a half years I’ve been living here. Worse than that, it rained all day long. Not the usual downpours we’ve all come to know and love, but a light, steady rain that just didn’t stop. And it’s still raining this morning and probably will all day long.
Why? Believe it or not, Tropical Storm Sandy which is hovering over Cuba as I write this. We don’t get hurricanes here in Panama. It’s too far south, but that doesn’t mean the storms don’t effect us. They do! Hurricanes are giant weather factories with far-reaching consequences. If you remember your high school science lessons you know that hurricanes, cyclonic disturbances, rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, and that’s what’s changed our weather pattern here.
Look at this NOAA photo of Sandy.
That’s Panama just under and to the left of that huge patch of red. As you can see, the storm is drawing its strength from water vapor all the way into the Pacific Ocean and dragging the bad weather across the isthmus. We’re only about 50 miles or so between the Pacific and the Caribbean here. And it’s causing big problems.
In Tonosi, at the foot of the Azuero Peninsula about 300 houses have been affected by flooding when the Tonosí river overflowed its banks.
Here in Chiriquí Province the river in Puerto Armuelles (about an hour and a half away by bus from my home) over on the Pacific side on the border with Costa Rica, has been threatening to overflow its banks. People in Nuevo Chorrillo, in the district of Arraiján, near Panama City, are living under the threat of landslides from the super-saturated hills above their homes.
While other rivers are threatening homes the river a mere 25 yards or so from my house is doing fine. I’ve written about, and posted videos, about how fast the river can rise to frightening levels in a matter of a few minutes. Right now it’s what I would categorize as “high normal.” Most of the huge boulders as still well above the water level. Since the rain has been light but steady the watershed isn’t being overwhelmed and there’s little to worry about right now.
As I’ve mentioned I love the musica tipica here in Panama and listen to station CHT which is the top tipica station. But sometimes I really start Jonesing for some good blues and other “American” music. I just discovered a couple of days ago that on ITunes there is a section called “Radio.” I checked it out and found it offers all kinds of music. Contemporary, Classic Rock, R&B, and Blues among others. Right now I’m tuned in to Azure Radio and listening to Someone called Rab McCollughah, hard-driving blues. Azure Radio is French and my favorite radio station of all time was Radio Baie des Anges in Nice. But on ITunes there are 28 streaming stations for blues.
If you love music, have ITunes and can’t find anything on your radio at home then check out what’s offered on ITunes.
I also use it to listen to NPR.
There are several boating sites I love and read regularly. If you love boats, too, check these out.
Don’t forget to check out the boat blogs in my blogroll on the right side of this page. Should keep you busy for a while.
Ignorance, they say, is bliss. There are certain times it’s better not to know some things.
For instance, yesterday two men were working to clear out the weed-clogged field next door so that it could be planted with corn. They worked for about six hours and during that time they killed two small fer de lance snakes.
The fer de lance is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. If there were two next door you can be sure there are a lot more around. Sometimes there are things I’d just rather not know about.