These 100 or so islands are the northernmost group of the Leeward islands, the northerly islands of the Lesser Antilles. The British Virgin Islands are administered from a capital at Road Town on the island of Tortola, the American Virgin Islands from a capital at Charlotte Amalie on the island of St Thomas.
Temperature and humidity around the year in the Leeward Islands are very similar to those described in the general entry for the Caribbean, as are the amount and distribution of sunshine. The tables for points on two other islands in the eastern Caribbean, Roseau on Dominica and Plymouth on Montserrat, show that near sea level, the annual rainfall is about 1,250-2,000 mm/50-80in, well distributed throughout the year, with a wetter season from July to November. The table for Camp Jacob on the island of Guadeloupe, also in the Leeward Islands, shows that rainfall increases at higher elevations and on the windward slopes exposed to the constant and moist northeast trade winds.
The Virgin Islands lie in the track of violent tropical hurricanes which are most likely to develop between August and October. Although the severest of these storms may only strike once every few years, these are always the months of heaviest rainfall.
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