This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts

10 July 2007

Ile des Pins: Grey in June

Photo by James D. Harris, 2007.

One cannot live in New Caledonia and not visit Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines) regularly. It is a heavenly place - far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

Characterised by blue skies, towering pines and silky white sand, a visit there returns one - or helps one find one's - home, dream, paradise.

At the end of June, we returned to Ile des Pins to show it to my father and stepsister. Laurent, Sophie and I had been there for the first time in December, 2005. We returned again in October, 2006 with our friend Sheila. This June trip was grey - but still beautiful. We were there during one of Noumea's greatest storms, safe from flying chairs.

Livia and Jim got to go diving, Pablo played in the water, and Laurent and I drank in our last time at Ile des Pins.

05 July 2007

Enjoying New Caledonia's Winter

Cooler days during New Caledonia's winter (July and August) mean dips below 20 degrees (at night). During the day, however, temperatures can cascade back up as far as 22-26. This last weekend the sun enticed us out for a long walk along the bays (with visiting dad and stepsister, Livia). And nothing, but nothing, stopped Pablo from going for a dip of his own - and a taste or two of the ocean.

30 May 2007

Fall and Winter in New Caledonia

Photos by Laurent Guiader, 2007.

Our seasons are "turned around" in the South Pacific (depending on your perspective). When all of you in the northern hemisphere are gearing up for summer, we in the southern hemisphere are gearing up for winter, which will be here around the 22nd of June.

Right now it is fall in New Caledonia and the days are still warm and sunny. We do have a little extra yard work (and a little extra help), but other than that it is hard to tell that it is fall.

What is winter like? Winter in New Caledonia is cooler than the rest of the year, but one cannot really call it winter. It is warmer than Paris' warmest days most of the time! Temperatures hover around 20°C, the days end earlier (around 17.30) and start earlier (around 5.30), but we have no snow, we have a little rain, and yes, we can manage without coats and hats and scarves.

Now - must get back to that yard work before someone pokes an eye out ...

02 April 2007

Tsunami Alert in the South Pacific: No Danger to New Caledonia

The tsunami that devastated the Solomon Islands today brought no damage to New Caledonia. On alert for two hours this morning, the tsunami crashed down on the Loyalty Islands - at 15 cm high, a "vaguelette" or "baby wave".

The public was fully alerted however and inhabitants made for higher ground. By 10:38 everyone was out of harm's way and by 11:15 the alert was over. Everyone could go home.

30 March 2007

End of High Cyclone Alert in New Caledonia

The high cyclone alert for New Caledonia was lifted last night (29 March) at 18:00. Tropical depression Becky petered out as she neared the mainland. We have a few high winds, but the skies are clearing and everyone is back at school. As far as I know, no damage has been done.


28 March 2007

New Caledonia on High Alert: Cyclone Becky on the Way

At 19:00 today New Caledonia was put on Cyclone Alert 1 (there are three levels of alert: pre-alert, 1 and 2). Apparently tropical cyclone Becky was 250 km north-northwest of Lifou at that time and travelling at 25 km per hour. It is predicted that she will hit the Loyalty Islands tonight or tomorrow morning.

All schools will be closed tomorrow and we are being encouraged to stay home with our extra bottles of water, candles and basic provisions.

More news will normally be available at 5:00 local time at Meteo France's Alerte cyclonique page.

07 March 2007

Tropical Depression Odette

Some of you will be happy to learn that we do indeed have rain in paradise. It's been raining in Nouméa (and New Caledonia) for six days. Okay, this morning it let up a bit, but rain and thunderstorms are forecast to continue through to the weekend at least. Apparently, tropical depression Odette has come for an extended visit. Be assured: we are in no danger. We just have lots of rain.

Our Internet connection has gone down more than once with the rain and Pablo has grown a little stir crazy, but apart from that, it feels like we are in Brittany again. I remember thinking the rain in Paris was romantic when I first landed from sunny California ... it is all a matter of perspective.

As a side note, for those of you who are in France and who watch the weather on TF1, you can now see the weather in New Caledonia along with your usual weather forecast. You'll either love us or hate us ...

26 October 2006

All is Well: Hurricane Xavier Left without a Trace

Hurricane Xavier decided to give New Caledonia a miss - so we are all in the clear. The "pre-alert" has been lifted. We can officially return to the beaches and let our pets and small children roam the garden. Suffice it to say, I played it safe and bought extra water, batteries and diapers yesterday - much to the amusement of Sophie (who clearly remembers my Y2K panic; yes, I am embarrassing) and Laurent (who thinks I'm funny any way you look at me).

25 October 2006

State of Pre-Alert: Hurricane Xavier in the Area

It was announced yesterday that New Caledonia is on "pre-alert" status. Hurricane Xavier is in the area. We have been told to bring in all things that can up and fly away (including pets), batten down those things close to the sea (including cars and boats), and to listen attentively to the news. At 17.00 today we will know what Xavier has done to Vanuatu and whether or not the pre-alert will be over or will increase to Alert Level 1. Apart from it being windier, grayer and mistier than usual, all appears well. For more information (in French) on Xavier's status, see the French weather site. You can also click on the photo above to get a closer look at Xavier's trajectory as of 6.00 this morning.

22 September 2006

How Quickly Views Change

A storm blew in on Monday while I was on the phone with Paris. Luckily Sophie was around to document it from our balcony. I watched in amazement as it flew out as quickly as it blew in. One would have thought it was the apocalypse, but no, just a quick reminder that even chaos can be beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, happy birthday, Stevie!!

Photo by Sophie-Alix Kilcoyne, 2006.

03 September 2006

Weather in Nouméa: Sun, Sun, Sun!

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.

When we moved to New Caledonia over a year ago, I could not believe our luck. Every morning, we woke up to sun and blue skies. I went swimming in September. Never was there a grey day. Here it is a year later, and we have gone from beautiful weather to even more beautiful weather (guidebooks say the best time to visit New Caledonia is September through November, but December was heavenly as well). In February and March it grew very hot (around 38°), rainy in April and May, cooler in June and July, a sunny August and now we are moving back into September. It will start getting warmer and warmer now and we will not see much rain. Like I said, I could not - and cannot - believe our luck!

As for sun, we basically have 12 hours of it a day. The sun rises around 6 and sets around 6. For an interesting graphic on our amount of daylight, see You'll note that there isn't much variance: constant sunshine is the name of the day.

14 November 2005

Weather Check

Want to know how warm it will be in Nouméa this week? Go to:

Sneak peek for the week of 14 November: between 21° and 29° C. Indeed, spring has sprung. Our thoughts go out to all our friends in Europe ...