View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tuesday 7 February

A bright day, but with increasing amounts of cloud and rising wind. As I type this, just after 10pm, it is blowing a good force 7 and the rain has started. The mercury has hovered around 7C today, but the strong winds made it feel unpleasantly cold. We are on warning for severe gales overnight.

Over the next few days, we are going to see some extreme tides. The difference between high and low tide will exceed 16 feet, meaning that the Sound of Harris ferry cannot sail at low tide. Its schedule has been revised to accommodate the tidal conditions. Conversely, the plane that lands at Barra Airport can only land at low tide. So, at high tide the plane can't fly and at low tide the ferry can't sail. Long live the Hebrides!

A lady, only days away from her 111th birthday, has died in Norfolk. She was the last person alive who had been actively involved with the First World War. Florence Green was a mess-steward in RAF bases; the predecessor of the RAF was established during the Great War.

Although it is mid-winter, the southern hemisphere is at the height of summer. This means that tropical cyclones are haunting southern latitudes. A storm, equivalent to a category III hurricane, is on its way between the islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The southernmost islands of Vanuatu are on a yellow alert for possible winds to 110 mph; the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia are on an orange alert for cyclonic weather. However, the peak winds, of 130 mph, will stay well away from land. Another tropical storm, Cyril, brought windy weather to Tonga some 24 hours ago, but is now falling apart in the South Pacific.