Will it chill?

We are now in the transition period to winter, here in Mauritius. Nice period; getting cooler as we plunge into the middle months of the year, although on some days it’s like in summer. The cyclone season will be officially over on 15 May. The next will start on 01 November.

In winter we have strong anticyclones with central pressure of the order of 1040 hPa. When this occurs it’s chilly; time for the loads of furry blankets, jackets and pull-overs. The temperature may fall to a minimum of 10 to 11 deg C at certain places in the central plateau. While the normal minimum turns around 15 to 18 deg C. OK it’s not like what others in the higher latitudes would experience. But when you are used to an average temperature varying between 20 to 30 deg C, a drastic fall below 15 is something.

Strong south easterly winds blowing from the south poles may gust to 50 km/h, even higher at times. The period is often characterized by deficient rainfall.

It’s also the sugar cane harvest season. But nowadays the amount of sugar cane plantation has considerably decreased with the end of the Sugar Protocol which guaranteed a quota on the European market. Several acres of land have been converted into commercial undertakings. Huge buildings are mushrooming in areas where sugar canes sprung. A considerable number of sugar cane employees have been made redundant with the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). This scheme provides for enhanced compensation and a plot of land in return for loss of employment. Redeployment is not always possible due to ageing.

It seems that the remaining sugar plantation will be used to produce ethanol. There’s already a test going on in the south with a big factory.

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