Open Data Reveals Saint Lucia is Getting Even Sunnier

Among the datasets on Saint Lucia’s new Open Data Portal [] are weather observations for the last 44 years []. Weather observations are good time-series data that can show the graphing capabilities of the portal to best effect.

Selecting the monthly sunshine totals [, simply clicking “graph”, and then selecting “Lines and Points” for graph type, “Year” for Axis 1 (X-axis) and “December” for Axis 2 (Y-axis) gives a pleasing graph [{view-graph:{group:!YEAR,series:[!December],graphOptions:{hooks:{processOffset:{},bindEvents:{}}}},currentView:!graph,graphOptions:{hooks:{processOffset:{},bindEvents:{}}}}] [insert picture: saint-lucia-sunshine.jpg]. This shows a clear upward drift in the number of sunshine hours in December – although there is still a lot of yearly variation.

The new Open Data Portal also allows you to download the data to analyse it further. The download gives a CSV file that you can feed directly into your own program, or into an application like Excel. I took the data and computed ten-year rolling averages for December sunshine, and plotted them. [image: saint-lucia-sunshine-december-smoothed.png]

December Sunshine Totals

This brings out that there was a significant increase in average sunshine hours in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but that since then the average number of hours has been about the same.

The Open Data portal also has data on temperature [ You can again analyse this online, or download it to analyse with your own tools. This data also shows that there was a rise in mean December temperature by around 1.5C from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, and that it has been around the same since then.[insert picture: saint-lucia-temperature-december.png]

With an average of 10 hours of sunshine a day and mean temperatures of 27C Saint Lucia is a great place for a December visit!

December Sunshine Smoothed

December Sunshine Smoothed

December Sunshine Totals Smoothed

Saint Lucia Temperature in December 1973-2015