View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Saturday 3 December

A day with a distinct wintry feel, as heavy showers of hail kept clattering down. At times, the town looked quite white, and the hailstones gathered up in reasonably thick layers in secluded corners. Although we managed +6C at 1pm, the mercury hovered on average around +3C / 37F. Last night saw a westerly gale, with a gust of 89 mph up at Eoropie, a very exposed location. Tomorrow, the Highlands are on warning for snow, and a layer of 10 cm / 4 inches is to be expected. Whether we get that too is not certain; the Hebrides are washed by the Gulfstream, which tends to keep things a bit milder than on the mainland.

In Germany, the town of Koblenz has seen a mass evacuation of 45,000 people in preparation for the defusing of a 1,8 tonne bomb which had turned up in the river Rhine. The bomb had been dropped by the RAF during WW2, and surfaced following record low waterlevels in the river. Checking the levels on the Dutch / German border, I notice that the measuring station at Lobith shows the gauge at 6.95 m, which is rather lower than the average of 10 m. For reference, a level of 15 m or more creates an immediate danger of overtopping of dykes and massive flooding.