View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sunday 30 November

Darkness has fallen on a grey and overcast day, pretty non-descript in actual fact. The Dutch fishing vessel departed late last night for the fishing grounds of the North Atlantic.

The post-mortem is in full progress on the attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai, which has claimed nearly 200 lives, as well as more than 300 injured. Nine attackers were killed, one survived. He has admitted coming from Pakistan, but this does not imply that the attack was necessarily carried out or sanctioned by the government of that country. Western Pakistan is a pretty lawless place, outwith the control of Islamabad - Osama bin Laden is holed up there by all accounts. Although not bearing the specific wholemarks of Al Qa'eda, the attacks could well be attributable to that Medusa of the modern world. Security experts are still mulling that one over.

Today is the last day of the North Atlantic hurricane season.

I copy the review by the National Hurricane Center:

During this season, 16 named tropical cyclones occurred. Of these, 8 were hurricanes, and 5 were major hurricanes of Saffir-Simpson category III strength or stronger. This season was the first ever when 6 consecutive tropical cyclones made landfall on the US mainland. Overall, the 2008 hurricane season is tied as the 4th most active in terms of number of named storms and major hurricanes, and is also tied as the 5th most active in terms of number of hurricanes since 1944, when aerial reconnaissance was commenced. This is the 10th season to produce above-normal tropical cyclone activity since 1995, when the current active hurricane era began.
Finally, a total of 64 tropical waves moved off the coast of Africa this season, which is near the seasonal average.