View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Newmarket crash

Police have today released the name of the casualty who was killed in a two-car crash at Newmarket, a mile or two outside Stornoway, on Monday afternoon. She was Karin Prior, an occupational therapist aged 50. Her work colleague is critically ill in hospital in Inverness. The driver of the other vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries. Although Karin was due to be transferred to Inverness as well, she passed away before this was possible. Local news website Hebrides News has printed a heart-rending tribute by Karin's daughter, Bethany.

My thoughts go out to Karin's family and friends as they come to terms with their loss.

Tuesday 21 August

Although the day started out thoroughly wet, with plenty of heavy showers, the afternoon was much brighter and even brought a few sunny spells. A concentrated batch of showers closed the day at around 9.30pm, just after darkness had fallen. We're only a month away from the equinox, and the evenings are markedly closing in. Long forgotten are the long evenings of mid summer, when it doesn't get dark until 11pm. 9pm is more like it now.

In the Atlantic Ocean, the 9th tropical depression of the season has formed, and it looks as if it means business for later in the week. Two typhoons are rumbling in the Pacific Ocean, posing a threat to Taiwan and the coast of eastern China.

Just before 8pm tonight, the main road between Stornoway and Barvas (on the west coast) was reopened following yesterday's fatal accident. Police are still contacting next-of-kin, meaning the identity of the casualties are being withheld. We know that a woman died, another was injured and is stable in hospital, and a man is critically ill in hospital in Inverness.

Hurricane update - 22 August

Three systems that need to be monitored very closely.

Typhoon TEMBIN is carrying winds of 105 mph as it heads for central Taiwan. The storm will bring these winds, alongside very heavy rainfall to the island state late tomorrow local time. Three counties are under warning; this number is likely to increase. Taiwan Weather will carry further updates on these. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Honolulu is issuing 6-hourly warnings. In the longer term, Tembin will probably head southwest along the east coast of China, bringing copious amounts of rain to areas that have seen several typhoons already this year.

Tropical storm ISAAC is headed for the Lesser Antilles and will intensify to hurricane strength on Friday. The storm will clip the island of Hispaniola, pass over Cuba and reintensify in the Florida Straits to make landfall in southern Florida at 80 knots (95 mph) in the early hours of next Monday. At five days' notice, this forecast carries a large margin of error. The National Hurricane Center in Miami is issuing 3-hourly advisories.

Tropical disturbance 96L will probably be declared depression 10L later today as it travels west past the 35th degree longitude in the central Atlantic Ocean. Like Isaac, 10L will be a Cape Verde cyclone.