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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 26, 2022


The Virgin Islands received less than 70 percent of its normal rainfall in the past year. Official statistics from the National Weather Service in San Juan confirm earlier anecdotal reports of a very dry 2000.
The service gathers its information on the Virgin Islands from several sites on each of the three main islands where volunteers keep NWS-approved rain gauges, log the rainfall, and report the findings to regional headquarters. Staff in the San Juan office figure the average for each island based on the reports from the various sites.
Eloy Colon, a hydrologist in the San Juan office, shared his findings this week with The Source. According to his chart, the total rainfall last year on St. Thomas and nearby St. John was almost the same, 29.61 inches on St. Thomas and 29.27 inches on St. John. In each case, the amount represents just 64 percent of the average yearly rainfall.
On St. Croix, the total was slightly higher – 30.97 inches – and that represents 67 percent of the annual rainfall for that island.
March, which does not usually see heavy downpours, was the driest month last year. St. Croix and St. Thomas recorded less than an inch; St. John recorded just over, or 1.04 inches.
But even traditionally rainy months such as April and May saw more sunshine than pennies from heaven. All three islands logged fewer than two inches in April, a month in which Colon said the "normal" amount is three inches. And May's rainfall last year fell about a half-inch short of the normal 4.62 inches.
The NWS collects data from Red Hook, Cyril E. King Airport and Wintberg on St. Thomas; from Mt. Piliear, Estate Annally, Cotton Valley, East Hill, Estate deSight and the Henry Rohlsen Airport field house on St. Croix; and from Caneel Bay, Coral Bay and Cruz Bay on St. John.

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