Among the many (many) ridiculous moments that comprise an average day in the life of an American in Reunion is the quick international weather check.
When I visit weather.com, I have it programmed to display current temperatures and weather conditions in three cities at the top of the homepage: Northfield, Minnesota, where my brother Sam is at college; Noblesville, Indiana, home; and obviously, Saint-Pierre, where I live.
Today’s weather is a particularly absurd example of what I usually see. Check out those numbers.
But don’t let the 88 and partly cloudy fool you. The weather here at this time of the year can turn nasty. Already, MeteoFrance has detected a tropical disturbance that is expected to develop into a full-blown cyclone in the next 72 hours. Apparently, the delegates of Malawi were given the “B” when it came time for the Indian Ocean Cyclone Naming Committee to convene and form the 2011 season list, for which they chose “Bingiza”. While it might be early to predict Bingiza’s future trajectory, present models vary between a crash course with the eastern coast of Madagascar, in which case Reunion would be mostly spared, and a straight shot south, in which case Reunion will definitely get splashed.
Colleagues at school have advised me on cyclone preparation. As soon as MeteoFrance issues an “Orange Alert”, schools close and you are expected to prepare for a potentially dangerous situation. You fill your bathtub with water (I don’t have one), or use whatever voluminous containers you may have fit in your luggage from the United States (are you kidding me?), to have a fresh supply in the event that there’s no running water. A “Red Alert” is more serious, and everyone is required to stay indoors, or risk a 90 Euro fine from the police and the possibility of being swept into “pirate ridden waters of the Indian Ocean”.
In any event, my weekend hiking plans will likely turn into cribbage and movies at home, but in the meantime, you can check out some sweet satellite imagery here.
And Jean, the Alaskan gubernatorial contender’s name is Rob Rosenfield. Sorry it wasn’t your guy.
I’m gonna go kick up the A/C. It be hot.