View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 30 July 2009

140 degrees longitude

Nearly halfway round the globe, and this so-called African tropical wave has spawned a tropical cyclone. African waves are pulses of moist air, which move off the African continent in the summer months, into the Atlantic Ocean. They are the focal point for hurricanes to form in the Atlantic. However, the one that gave rise to tropical depression 6E travelled nearly halfway around the world. Within the hour, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, will issue the second advisory, and it is likely to be for a tropical storm. Satellite images suggest that the system will continue to strengthen for a day or so. It will not directly affect Hawaii, passing 5 degrees of latitude to the south of the Aloha state.

The image shows 6E in the bottom right corner; Hawaii sits in the centre.

Thursday 30 July

Sunshine and showers punctuate this morning, and it's quite breezy as well. The reverberations of Tuesday night's tornado continue, in the shape of daft reports in the press. The obvious take of divine retribution is gratefully taken up by the trashy side of the UK press, although I have to credit the Independent for its objective reporting. If the car, flipped over by the wind, had been flung into the fuel depot across the road (or if the twister had touched down in there), the consequences do not bear thinking about. The talk of relocating the fuel depot (cost about £23m) has resurfaced, but whether that will be followed up with action is another matter. I can't but think back to December 2005, when the Buncefield depot in Hertfordshire (England) exploded. That was far from any major conurbations; our depot is located right in the centre of the town. Don't think we'll have much town left should this depot ignite.