White Christmas on Bermuda?

February 25, 2012

WhiteXmas (2)

Photographer: Declan G. De Paor; Declan's Web site 
Summary Author: Declan G. De Paor

This photo was taken Christmas Day 2011 on the island of Bermuda. At first glance, it appears that dreams of a White Christmas became reality on Bermuda -- all the roofs look snow-covered. However, it never snows or freezes in Bermuda. The Gulf Stream helps keep temperatures above 50 F (10 C) throughout the year. Virtually all of Bermuda's roofs are white. The roofs are constructed from limestone shingles using a wooden frame. They're mortared and coated with cement, and then finished with a traditional lime wash or a modern non-toxic paint. This keeps rain water as clean as possible while gutters direct rainfall runoff into storage cisterns below ground. Although there's no snow on Bermuda, it rains often -- more than 200 days per year. In fact, rainfall is the island's main source of water since there are no rivers or lakes on the island. By law, Bermuda residents must collect 80 percent of their household water by utilizing the roof runoff and cistern method. Note the crepuscular rays below the palm fronds.