25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE BY ANGEL NUÑEZ
It has been cold like never before in Mexico this year and even in several parts of the United States. The folks in San Pedro were hoping for a cold Christmas, but nothing of the like. It was normal warm weather like we have throughout the year. Oh yes, there were one or two cool nights, but nothing that would make us pull out the wind breakers and sweaters nor the thick blankets to cover up in bed.
Have you ever wondered why it used to be very cold in the 1950’s and not so anymore? Well, I am no scientist, but I have my own theories as to this phenomenon. To begin with back then the houses were made of pimento sticks and palmetto leaves or thatch roofs as they were called. These houses had lots of crevices and cracks all over the walls, so the cold breeze penetrated more and obviously the nights seemed colder. Another theory and possibility is that houses were sparsely scattered and not as dense as they are today. This of course allows for cooler air to flow. The high walls of buildings today stop the breeze and minimize the coldness of the airflow.
One sure thing you must take into consideration is that in the past there were few houses and a lot of vegetation all over the village. As you probably know, trees of all types provide cooler air. Even today, when you move from the town core to areas along the road, you feel a change in the air temperature. It gets cooler as you enter the San Pablo area, for example, because of the dense vegetation.
Another possibility is that today a lot of us work in air conditioned environment day and night and we have become acclimatized to the cool air. So when we go on the street and feel cool breeze, it does not feel as cold anymore as it used to in the past when there was no air conditioning.
Now, how about the ozone layer theory? Indeed the ozone layer has been damaged and has holes which allow for more of the sunlight’s UV rays to pass through the protective cover in the atmosphere. This has caused hotter climates around the world, so that on the average we have hotter days today than colder ones. It was the opposite back in the 1950’s when the ozone layer was intact and the days were cooler. Today we have all these weather phenomena’s, including El Niño and La Niña, which have caused changes in the weather patterns around the world, giving us a hot and sunny Christmas rather than a cool or cold one.
I am not sure why I am bothering in finding reasons why it is hot for Christmas and not cold as it was 25 years ago. I really love the hot sunny days and that is what tourists come looking for as they escape the cold climate of the United States at this time of the year. So, welcome to the sunny Christmas Holidays and welcome to our tourists also. It is just that folks like to say that if it is not cold, it doesn’t feel like Christmas. But if celebration is what you want, have a Happy New Year, warm or cold, rain or shine, and do receive the compliments of the holiday season from Twenty Five Years Ago.