View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday 8 February

Bright but hazy and very cold out here. According to the Met Office, the mercury at 11 am stood at -1.9C, after an "overnight" low of -4.2C at 9 am. As I type, the mercury at coldspots Loch Glascarnoch and Tulloch Bridge is still below -7C. Aviemore went down to -14C apparently. Leaving the cold to one side, we're still having the best weather in the country. Southern England is due more snow today, and a winterstorm tomorrow.

The exact opposite in terms of weather is happening in southeastern Australia, where firestorms have claimed more than 80 lives, razing several communities to the ground. Reports quote winds of 60 mph and more fanning the flames. Temperatures have risen to 46C out there - I think I prefer our current frosty weather.

Encouraged by the successful emergency landing in the Hudson River a few weeks ago, two more planes have endeavoured the method. In Australia, a plane successfully landed in shallow water, and its passengers could wade ashore. A plane in Brazil was less lucky, when it was forced down by heavy rain. Although 4 survivors were found, several bodies were found in the wreckage of the aircraft.