View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hurricane update - 7 September

Approaching the apex of the hurricane season, and boy, it is heaving with tropical cyclones tonight. The Atlantic has no few than three of them.

Katia is a hurricane that is not bothering anyone at the moment, apart from some high swells on the east coast of the USA. The British Isles will see a slightly weaker version on Monday of next week; 60 knots equates to a force 11 storm.

Maria is a tropical storm with winds of 45 knots (force 9-10) in the middle of the Atlantic. She will head west and may pass over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico by the weekend.

Nate formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, in the Bay of Campeche. A track map is not yet available, but this chap will drift north and intensify to hurricane force. Northeastern Mexico appears to be in the firing line.

Kulap is a tropical storm in the northwestern Pacific, but the forecasters are at daggers drawn over its future course. Will it head north into Korea, or west into China?

Wednesday 7 September

Another day of sunshine and showers, the latter being of the beafy variety. Later in the day, as the showers move away east, they leave behind a legacy of rainbows. This island is famous for its rainbows in spring and autumn. Talking of autumnal weather, we are on warning for some very severe weather. The long range forecasts give us winds of 65 mph, gusting to 85 mph, on Monday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that the remnant of Hurricane Katia will scoot just north of the Hebrides after the weekend, carrying hurricane force winds near its centre. The weekend is not going to be good, but Monday and Tuesday will be extremely bad. I am not given to refer to the weather here as either extreme or bad, but this is going to be one of those events.

I have completed my researches (as much as possible) into the witnesses who gave evidence to the Napier Commission during its sessions in the Outer Hebrides in May and June 1883. The information shows the make-up of their families, names of spouses and children, and if possible the date and circumstances of their death. I know of at least one person whose great-grandfather was a witness, 128 years ago.

If anyone wants to publish a tribute to one of the victims of 9/11, please visit the website of Project 2996. There are more than 2,100 names left without a tribute - many of them used to have one, but they were lost when people closed down their blogs. You can easily research any of those people, and even just a mention of their name would already be sufficient.

Where was I at 8.46 EDT on 11 September 2001? I was at my last place of work when the storekeeper emerged from his office with this strange look on his face. He said that planes had flown into the World Trade Center in New York. Four hours later, replays on the television brought home the horror of that day.