All steamed up

When you step out of an air conditioned car back home in Alberta, your glasses don’t steam up! That’s one of the things I’m still not quite used to.

You really only need two words to describe Saipan’s weather; hot and humid! Saipan holds the Guiness World Record for the most consistent temperature year round. So how consistent is it? Well, I just looked up the weather forecast for the next 7 days and every single day says “with a high near 87” and every single night, “with a low around 78”! Now that’s consistent! Those are Fahrenheit temperatures, of course. Saipan is, after all, an American territory. For those of us who think in Celsius, that’s a daytime temperature of 31 and a night time temperature of 26. The numbers don’t sound all that extreme but when you add the very high humidity, believe me it’s hot! And it’s not just like this in the summer, it’s like this all the time! Imagine twelve months of summer. Never having to own a coat. I know there are lots of places where this is true but it’s still difficult for this Canadian girl to get her head around!

Saipan does have two seasons, the rainy season from July to November and the dry season from December to June. I don’t imagine that the dry season is all that dry, however. If it was, we wouldn’t be surrounded by such lush tropical growth. When I learned that we’d be here at the beginning of the rainy season, I visualized day after day of gloomy grey skies and never ending rain. It hasn’t been like that at all. It may rain several times a day and when it does it’s literally like someone turned on a tap but it rarely lasts more than a few minutes and in between, it’s often sunny!

The past couple of days have been different, however; more like what I imagined. This is also typhoon season and Typhoon Ma-on passed by approximately 300 miles north of here. I suspect that that’s had a lot to do with the blustery weather we’re experiencing right now. The sun didn’t shine at all yesterday and every once in awhile the wind picked up and howled through the palm trees surrounding the property. Whenever that happened, it also poured rain. The power went off several times but each outage only lasted a few minutes. The internet was also off from time to time. Conditions gradually calmed as the day went by and I’m hoping that things will be back to normal soon. In the meantime, we’ve enjoyed the slightly cooler temperature that the storm brought with it. It’s all relative though. My glasses still steam up when we get out of the car!

There are air conditioners in every room throughout this big house but it would cost a fortune to run them all so we only air condition the bedroom at night. Each room is also equipped with at least one ceiling fan and by keeping the windows open and the air moving, we can keep the house reasonably comfortable most of the time.

In addition to Ma-on there’s also a tropical depression about 600 miles west of here that could develop into another typhoon. It’s moving in our direction but it’s expected to turn northward within the next 24 hours and should miss us by a wide margin. If not, we’ll be prepared. We’ve learned to use two typhoon tracking websites to keep an eye on things. There are boards stacked beside the house and brackets around each window to hold them in place. Those will go up first if one of these big storms threatens to come close. If a typhoon does hit, we could also be without power and water for a day or two. We drink bottled water and always have a supply on hand but we’d need to fill the 3 bathtubs with water for washing and flushing. There’s no worry about us going hungry either. In addition to the electric stove in the kitchen, there’s also a gas range in the sun porch so we’d even be able to cook. I guess we’d start by eating up whatever’s in the fridge as that sure wouldn’t last long in this hot, humid climate!

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