View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Monday, 23 July 2012

Monday 23 July

Quite an improvement on yesterday, with good sunny spells and gradually decreasing winds. That cannot be said about the weather in Hong Kong, which suddenly found itself on the receiving end of a category IV typhoon with winds of 110 mph in the outer areas of the territory. Here in the Hebrides, we reached 17C / 63F, which is about par for the course. Went into town for a few bits and pieces; bought a book about the Scottish community land buy-out movement, which has been gathering pace since the 1990s. It is a subject that has my interest; I have never understood why a landowner, who leases land to others, is able to influence what his tenants do on his land.

Yesterday's windy weather kept the local lifeboats busy. The Leverburgh lifeboat was tasked to Skye to help a yacht whose anchor was dragging near Waternish; the Portree and Castlebay lifeboats were called out for similar problems. The Leverburgh lifeboat Lifetime Care has been on station only since May this year, but has had five call-outs already. She plugs the gap between the RNLI stations in Castlebay, Stornoway and Portree. Lifetime Care also has easy access to the west coast of Skye, as was demonstrated in yesterday's shout.

Hurricane update - 23 July

I got quite a shock in the last half hour, when I happened to look at the webpage for the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and found an amendment to the 1500 GMT warning for typhoon Vicente, near Hong Kong. Originally, warning 12 quoted Vicente at 70 knots, equivalent to a category I hurricane. JTWC have changed this ever so slight to 120 knots, that's a category IV hurricane. The storm has intensified by an unbelievable 50 knots in 6 hours, a rate of intensification that is classified as explosive.

The Hong Kong Observatory has placed the city under hurricane signal 10, reporting winds of 110 mph in places around the territory.