View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Hurricane update - 29 October

There are no tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons to report anywhere in the world. We are in the transition between the northern and southern hemisphere seasons. As a result, my Tropical Cyclones blog is currently headed by an Inactivity Bulletin.

A few days ago, tropical cyclone 03B moved ashore in Yemen, in the extreme south of the Arab peninsula, dumping 8 inches there. They have an annual rainfall average of only a few inches. As a result, 180 people died in flooding, and 9 deaths resulted from lightning strikes. This tropical depression (with winds of less than 35 mph) is the 4th deadliest cyclone of the year 2008. Cyclone Nargis claimed more than 145,000 deaths in Myanmar / Burma in April, Typhoon Fengshen capsized a ferry in the Philippines, killing 1,400, and hurricane Hanna killed more than 500 in Haiti. (data courtesy Jeff Masters blog, don't scroll too far down the entry).

Australia, Fiji (and surrounding Pacific islands) as well as the southern Indian Ocean islands of La Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar will be on their guard from 1st November onwards. The Atlantic hurricane season ends on November 30th.

Wednesday 29 October

Nice quiet day in the islands today, if feeling a little cold at 6C / 43F. No snow, no wind, no rain. That has all moved south; Wales and Northern Ireland are getting it in the neck, if the Met Office are to be believed.

What I cannot believe is the amount of time it has taken the BBC to take action against two radio presenters who overstepped the mark last Friday. Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand telephoned actor Andrew Sachs (most famously the waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers), spouting obscenities and claiming to have had sex with Sachs' granddaughter. This was aired on BBC Radio 2, but should have been axed in the first instance. Both are now suspended, following a nationwide outcry from Prime Minister Gordon Brown downward. I disliked Jonathan Ross at any rate, and Russell Brand sank the moment he walked off the set of a television show to go to the toilet - on air.