St. John Tradewinds News

2017: A Record Year in Many Ways

Storm over Trunk Bay. Image from 2008.

Record winds, record waves, record destruction!! But also record rainfall. And while this rainfall was bemoaned by those with no roofs or leaky roofs after hurricanes Irma and Maria, it was a blessing for our storm-ravaged vegetation.

Without the rain that we received following the storms, many of the trees and bushes that survived the winds would not have leafed out and gotten on the road to recovery as they did.

I have been keeping daily rain records since 1983 at Trunk Bay, St. John. In an average year we receive just over 48 inches of rain. In 2017 we got 76.41 inches, the most I have recorded for a single year. My previous record was 75.36 inches in 2010. For the first half of 2017, through June, we received 18.58 inches, just slightly more than average. July and August were wetter than average, leading to more leaves on the trees and therefore likely more damage due to the winds of September.

During Hurricane Irma (which my rain gauge amazingly survived) I measured 6.75 inches. Thirteen days later, Hurricane Maria gave us another 5.24 inches. With all the other rain events, September ended up with 21.44 inches, well above the average of 6.05 inches. This was followed by an equally wet October and November with a combined 20.66 inches.

All of this resulted in a very wet and tumultuous year. Goodbye 2017!!

2017 Rain Data
Month Rain Avg. YTD YTD Avg.
January 1.76 3.12 1.76 3.12
February 3.56 2.06 5.32 5.18
March 2.32 1.76 7.64 6.94
April 1.63 3.15 9.27 10.09
May 5.44 4.49 14.71 14.58
June 3.87 3.04 18.58 17.62
July 6.02 3.49 24.60 21.11
August 7.45 4.39 32.05 25.50
September 21.44 6.05 53.49 31.55
October 13.63 6.05 67.12 37.60
November 7.05 6.92 71.17 44.52
Decemeber 2.24 3.91 76.41 48.43