View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 5 November 2010

Friday 5 November

Beautiful Friday sunshine - with a few treacherous little showers that annoy more than make you wet. Went for an 80-minute amble in the Castle Grounds to look for autumn colours. There is a severe gale in the forecast for Sunday and Monday, so I thought better to make the most of it. Plenty of colours around, and the low sun made for some very autumnal pictures.

Hurricane Tomas is lashing Haiti with rain, another disaster that that nation can do without. After the quake, the disease there is now flooding. Do not be surprised to hear similar tales of woe from India, which is bracing itself for the arrival of Jal, which will be at a similar strength as Tomas is at present when it makes landfall near Chennai on Sunday.

Journalists at the BBC are on strike, depriving us of Radio Scotland for two days. I am not bothering with the output from 5Live which is put on in its stead. Neither am I too enamoured with the output from Sky News, which has this tendency to be a tad sensationalist. Talking of news, I am sick to the back teeth of the saga that has been doing the rounds in Scotland over the past 3 weeks. Former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan had sued the News of the World newspaper for defamation, after the rag alleged that he had visited a sex-club in Manchester. After being awarded damages, Mr Sheridan is now on trial for alleged perjury at the defamation trial. Well, we have been subjected to lengthy explanations who has been having sex with who, heads being popped round doors before going upstairs, into secluded rooms and what not. Please, just give us the outcome and spare us the details.

Hurricane update - 5 November

Tropical cyclone Jal is approaching from the Bay of Bengal and will intensify to hurricane strength, with winds near 90 mph. I copy the advice from the India Met Department.

Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph would commence along and off North Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coast from morning of 6th November 2010. It may increase upto 120-130 kmph gusting to 140 kmph at the time of landfall. Sea conditions will be very rough to high, along and off these coasts becoming phenomenal at the time of landfall.

Damage expected:
Extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts. Minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees. Flooding of escape routes.

Action suggested:
Total suspension of fishing operations. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea. Coastal hutment dwellers to be moved to safer places. People in affected areas to remain indoors.

Hurricane Tomas is passing between Haiti and Cuba, bringing heavy rainfall to both nations. Predicted totals are 5 to 10 inches, locally up to 15 inches, with the danger of mudslides and flashfloods. Beyond that, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands will also see hurricane-force winds and torrential rain.