View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Our gale appears to be over. The ferry, officially cancelled, sailed out of the bay half an hour ago, and apart from heavy showers, the weather has quietened down quite a bit. The showers look set to continue, with a decidedly rashy look to the satellite picture this afternoon.

What has far from quietened down is the latest typhoon. Nida, located west of Guam, has intensified explosively from 65 knots yesterday at this time (3pm GMT) to 150 knots today - 85 knots in 24 hours is extremely fast. That equates to a category V hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph, gusting to 210 mph. I don't want to be there. Nida will strengthen even more as all the components needed for this scenario (warm ocean waters and no windshear (no difference in windspeeds up and down the atmosphere)) are in place. Fortunately, this supertyphoon is not threatening any land.

Wednesday 25 November

Strong winds lashing the Hebrides, but as yet nothing really exceptional. The ferries are disrupted up and down the west coast, and drivers are warned to be careful on exposed stretches of road - like the major bridges in Scotland. Spectacular cloudscapes with heavy showers moving through.

There is fury in the land over the decision of the Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords, Law Lords) to disallow the Office of Fair Trading to assess the fairness of bank charges. Banks in the UK charge up to £39 for an unauthorised overdraft, whereas in fact it only costs the bank £4 to deal with the issue. Two years ago, a campaign was started to force the banks to repay to customers the excess charged - which will now not happen (at the present time).

I am trying out the Google Chrome browser, and so far so good. It is faster than Firefox, but still has glitches in it. And I don't like the way my bookmarks have been rearranged. May go back to FF at the end of the day.