Tropical Storm Warning: Official Details & Unofficial Ones on Storm Parties


Well folks, it looks like a tropical storm is heading toward St. John. St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico are officially under a tropical storm warning.

So what exactly does that mean? It means that tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive in the territory by Saturday morning. Here’s the official info from VI-Alert:

“At 8 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was estimated near latitude 13.6 degrees north, longitude 57.9 degrees west. Bertha is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 miles per hour and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

On the forecast track Bertha is expected to pass near or north of Barbados during the next several hours and move through the central Lesser Antilles tonight and into the northeastern Caribbean on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday. Bertha is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across portions of the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands through Saturday night.”

For those of you on island, you can sign up to receive text message or email alerts at VI-Alert.gov. Here is the direct link to sign up for notifications: https://users.vialert.gov/

So official information aside…

In true St. John fashion, some of our favorite spots are gearing up for the storm in the best way they know how – by planning storm parties!

Woody’s is planning to have a storm party all day Saturday and Sunday with $4 Hurricane Drinks.

Castaway’s is also having a storm party because when it rains, they pour. They’re offering $4 Jameson, 2 for 1 bombs and $2 rum drinks beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Beach Bar will be having $5 Dark & Stormys all day long.

And in case you missed it in the past, here’s a quick little video courtesy of Captain John Brandi that explains just exactly what one should be doing when it rains on St. John. Check it out, enjoy and stay safe everyone!

New Hyper Local Website Launches

life on our rock

Hey everyone, happy Monday!

Today we wanted to tell you about a new site that just launched yesterday. It’s called Life on Our Rock and we think it’s going to be very cool.

The site’s the brainchild of Active St. John. Our friends over there were sick and tired of wrong information being spread around the island when an emergency event was occurring. For example, a few years back someone was sitting at the bar and said a huge storm was coming. Word quickly spread and people started to panic. Well it turned out that no storm was really coming and therefore people unnecessarily panicked. The goal of this site is to prevent things like that from happening by reporting accurate, real time information.

Active reached out to us for help, so we’ve been working with them for a bit to make the site work. We think it turned out pretty well. See for yourself here: www.LifeonOurRock.com

As you will see, the site includes a variety of important links such as VI Alerts – so you can view any warnings or emergency information – Tropical Weather – so you can see the most up-to-date information if a storm is in fact coming – and Port Links – so you can be made aware if the ports close or are about to close due to an impending storm.

And because Active is just as obsessed as we are with the fact that the new ferries still aren’t running and that the “fedral” and “emergency” road repairs on Centerline still haven’t been completed, there’s a boatload of information on that too including a plethora of articles from multiples sources on each dating back to 2009.

Again, it just launched yesterday but we have a feeling it’s going to be very cool. Be sure to check it out: www.LifeonOurRock.com

Storm alert: watching and waiting for tomorrow

The weekend was difficult on St. John.  

Many visitors who arrived Saturday learned that a storm appeared to be gathering southeast of the Virgin Islands with a 100% probability it was going to turn into, at least, heavy rain and gusty winds.

Weather.com reported, "It could then continue to strengthen while affecting other portions of the eastern Caribbean from the Virgin Islands to Haiti through the middle of this week."  If it becomes a tropical storm, it would be named Emily.

Villa management companies, meanwhile, glued to the Weather Channel and the Internet, exercised their best judgements about preparing properties and guests for whatever comes through mid-week.

Blue Tang: #2 and proud of it!

Longtime readers know that News of St. John began as a not-so-subtle effort to encourage rentals of our home on the island.  There's a lot of competition for rentals and I thought the site would help.  It has. It is the oldest and largest Web site with news about St. John.

Ext_day_pool So it was with surprise and gratitude that, while mousing around TripAdvisor.com the other day, I found that Blue Tang was ranked as the #2 most popular rental on the island, with a 4 1/2 out of 5 stars ranking, too.  Shocked … thankful … happy.

Blue Tang ranked so well because of the reviews people who have stayed at the house were kind enough to post.  A few of their comments:

  • "A peaceful, relaxing, romantic honeymoon at Blue Tang."
  • "Blue Tang rocks."
  • "Best vacation we've ever taken."
  • "Awesome views and location."

I have to admit that each time we visit Blue Tang and read through the Guest Books, we are often moved to tears at the kind things people say about the house as they recount the wonderful time they had on the island and at our place.

If you're headed for St. John, I hope you'll consider our home, too.

Frank Barnako, aka The Inquiring Iguana

A pair of storms worth watching

Called "potentially dangerous" by WeatherUnderground's Dr. Jeff Masters, says Tropical Disturbance 92L "is in a dangerous location for development, and gives me the greatest concern of any Atlantic disturbance so far this year."  However the storm is well south of the islands and computer projections show it well south of the Leeward Islands and Cuba. But forecasting models say it'll bring heavy rains to the islands and Puerto Rico this weekend.

Igor Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Igor is moving west and is north of the islands.  "The models are pretty unanimous about developing Igor into a hurricane 3 – 5 days from now. Igor will track west to west-northwest over the next week, Masters said.  Odds favor the storm turning northwest without affecting land.

  • Jeff Masters' tropical storm update is here. (The map p;rojection is also from WeatherUnderground.)

Tropical storm can’t get restarted

Despite concerns yesterday, forecasters are less worried about tropical storm Gaston reforming and being a problem.

"Latest radar out of Martinique and Puerto Rico show a few heavy rain showers moving through the islands, but no organization to (them)," said Jeff Masters, a forecaster with WeatherUnderground.com.

"None of the computer models show Gaston redeveloping, and NHC has downgraded the odds of development to 10 percent."

Earl and Mongoose Junction

Radha Speer, who owns a shop at Mongoose Junction, has posted a bunch of photos of the beautiful shopping center, post-Earl

What you see is what they got. Lots of branches down, a few trees broken, evidence the wind speed was up there … in other words, there's a lot of clean up to do. But Speer's shots show no serious damage.

Glen This a picture of her husband, Glen, the architect and developer of Mongoose, wielding a chainsaw.

  • You can see all of the photos on her Facebook page here.

Road race a casualty of Earl

RectangSticker-385sq The Love City Triathalon and Aquathon, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed.

"While conditions on the island of St. John are improving after the passing of Hurricane Earl, the road and water upon which the races are conducted are still being cleaned, cleared and repaired," the St. John Landsharks announced.

Organizers said the storm and its cleanup have taxed both physical resources as well as volunteers' time and energy.

"The race organizing committee is concerned with the safety and enjoyment of the participants, along with not overburdening the many race volunteers during this challenging time," the Landsharks said.

  • Info about the Triathalon/Aquathon here.

St. John Returning to normal

A check of St. John Webcams shows some on and some off.  The "on" includes St. John Brewers' beautiful shot across Pillsbury sound.  Remember the islands like this.


St. John's John Fuller (he also heads up St. John Rescue) blogged on StormCarib.com that Mongoose Junction's juice was restored midday Wednesday. 

"Looks like St. John caught the most of Earl," he continued, "but most of the folks I talked to in and around Cruz Bay were thankful it was mostly a vegetation clearing with little damage."

The Governor lifted curfew last night since electricity has largely been
restored on St. Thomas and St. John.  Government offices and schools
are also open today.

Video: Boats aground at Great Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole

Steve Steve Simonsen, the world class photographer, was on the north side of Great Cruz Bay when Earl was pounding the island Monday evening at about 6.

He shot video. 

The camera is looking across the bay.  The Westin Resort is to the right, out of sight. You can see his video by clicking here.


CaptainBK also posted some storm video to the Weather Channel. It shows too many boats on their sides on the beaches at Great Cruz and Chocolate Hole.  Watch it here.

St. John's Eric Lidicker posted on his Facebook page that St. John is messy but not devastated. "STJ was mostly cosmetic w tree damage since the soil was already saturated from all the rain we've had & new growth."