View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Thursday 3 December

The sun is setting as I start typing this post - it is 3.42pm. It has been a nice day, with cloud lifting around midday. I saw a magnificent 'sun-dog' (a parhelion), caused by refraction of the sun's light in ice crystals, contained in high-level clouds. On Saturday, I expect a gale.

Next week, the Christmas illuminations here in Stornoway will be switched on on Tuesday evening. Winter is well and truly here, borne out by the flurry of complaints about gritting of roads. Last Monday, traffic in the Isle of Harris ground (or more to the point: skidded) to a halt. Although the gritters had been out first thing, a rain shower had washed away all the salt. The low temperatures did the rest, reducing the Harris road system to a skating rink. Residents of Maraig were unable to drive up the 500 feet hill out of their village, as it was covered in ice. The main road south of Tarbert was blocked by skidded vehicles, and the road to Huisinis was similarly impassible.

More later.