View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saturday 12 May

A fairly bright day with occasional rain showers, but with strengthening winds. We are due a force 8-9 gale tomorrow, with gusts to 60 mph in exposed places. Stornoway being relatively sheltered should see no more than 50 mph, which is still stormforce. Fairly unusual to have strong winds like this in May, but it does happen. We were quite a bit milder today than of late, with the mercury at a decent 14C / 57F.

I was left bemused after an exchange at the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, when Rebekah Brooks, former CEO at News International, disclosed that British Prime Minister David Cameron signed off his texts with the letters LOL, not knowing that the acronym stands for Laughing Out Loud. I've known that for 8 years, and I'm only a few years older than Mr Cameron.What is politics in this country coming to?

Back in 1982, fifteen people were killed in the South American republic of Surinam, a former Dutch colony, when army chief Desi Bouterse seized power in a coup. The exact circumstances of the killings have never been cleared up, and continue to be a festering sore in the little country, pop 490,000. Another attempt at justice is reported to have been run into the ground in Paramaribo, the capital. Following independence in 1975, many Surinamers went to Holland, where they remain a sizeable ethnic minority.

The Northern Hemisphere hurricane season is slowly kicking off, with disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean (southwest of the Azores) and the Eastern Pacific Ocean (south of Acapulco), both estimated to have a 40% chance of developing into a tropical storm. I'm monitoring developments closely, reflecting output from the NHC on my Tropical Cyclones blog.

Friday 11 May

Quite a nice day, with plenty of sunshine but with a keen wind and low temperatures for mid May. Nonetheless, I'm not complaining. I will be complaining on here on Sunday, when we get a gale with winds gusting to 60 mph. A high pressure system with a central pressure of 1044 mbar will pass over on Saturday, but the 50 mbar gradient with the low over Iceland on Sunday will bring us those high winds.

Rangers FC, which is in severe financial difficulties, is seeing one salvation after another slipping away. It is suggested that once the club has been saved, it could be relegated to the 3rd division. We shall see.
It was rather worse news that greeted the Highlands and Islands today, with the immediate cessation of operations of a building firm, leading to the loss of 238 jobs. You may think that's no big deal, but 90 jobs lost in the Western Isles is nothing short of catastrophic. This equates to 5,000 job losses at a stroke in London.