Christmas Winds Arrive Early

honeymoon waves pic

Christmas has come early on the island but not in the good way.

As some of you may know, the winds kick up every year right around the Christmas holiday. These winds, dubbed the Christmas Winds, kick up the north shore beaches and cause quite the stir. Well, they’ve come early this year – more than a month early to be exact.

A VI Alert was issued last Thursday for unusually high surf. It was expected to end by Sunday morning, but the winds have yet to die down. This is affecting most of the north shore beaches as the waves have been unusually high and the visibility has pretty poor. Even the calmer beaches like Maho Bay have been affected. See for yourself here:

And here’s another video we took Sunday at Honeymoon Beach:

According to St. John’s weather guru, Captain John Brandi of Palm Tree Charters (ok, well he’s our weather guru), the north shore swells are due to an unusual northern wind. The swells started from the northwest but have shifted to the northeast. The winds went from east to almost north Monday, compounding the swell on the north waters. These northern winds are very unusual for this time of year and typically hold off until Christmas time. That being said, he thinks they will start to diminish tomorrow. Thank goodness.

So as we mentioned, John Brandi is the island’s weather guru in our opinion. He posts a daily weather report on his Facebook page. You can check that out here.

In the meantime, you can head down to the south shore beaches to avoid the north shore swells. Salt Pond is always a great north shore alternative. Hansen Bay is great too, and it’s a News of St. John favorite.

5 thoughts on “Christmas Winds Arrive Early”

  1. Hello Jen and all! We are on island again this year…and the Christmas winds are wonderful at night sleeping! Snorkeling at Haulover and Hansen Bay OK…Hawksnest on Honeymoon Beach side is a challenge but doable…

    Also–If you are on island this week, check out annual FLAVORS fundraiser THIS Saturday the 23rd….more here http://flavorsstjohn.com/

    Hope to see you there!

  2. Thanks for the videos!
    May they come and go by our arrival in December.
    I’m bringing my family and the only other time they have stepped foot on this amazing island was on a cruise ship stop and there were swells that day. I would so LOVE to have calm waters when we are there!

  3. Good morning all, Watching the videos with curiosity! After being off island to visit family for a short time, I wanted to know what people were talking about Christmas winds? This early?? Yes, it has been windy, however, this is not Christmas winds yet, in my opinion. When the wind starts blowing you will feel like your in a wind tunnel and the seas kick up, all the surfers will be running to the best beaches to catch the best waves. This is my 20th season on St John and have paid attention to Christmas winds every year. This is the driest November in the last 4 and I attribute the weather St John has been experiencing to the low dip in the jet stream from the arctic blast the mid-west and north east was experiencing during this same time. St John will return to normal until the actual Christmas winds do start between the 1st and 3rd week of December, as the past years 4 years have. When you see the surf boards on jeeps and paddle boards put away, this will be your sign, Christmas winds have arrived! Again, this is just my opinion. have a Happy day.

    • Hi Kristen! All this nicely meant 🙂 My wife and I have been here since 1998. I talked to some of the local rasta’s at Natures and their impression is that the “winds come early…” ..and that is because the “normal” Christmas winds occur from the exact weather phenom you stated usually in December: “the low dip in the jet stream from the arctic blast the mid-west and north east …” so—to many locals including Cid and others at Connections …we got an early taste of these winds hence they arrived early….temperature at top of Bordeaux was much cooler than normal too 🙂

      Global climate change is really upon us in a major way causing weather phenoms not seen….this includes the destruction of coral reefs, bizarre weather around the planet in general…so…I agree with you that technically that “the low dip in the jet stream from the arctic blast the mid-west and north east” did affect our wind patterns….

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