View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wednesday 5 September

A nice day, with plenty of sunshine and the mercury at 16C / 60F. Tomorrow should be another day like yesterday, with plenty of wind and rain. It has already prompted the cancellation of the ferry service between Castlebay and Oban. On our route, the Isle of Arran has bravely carried out the service to Ullapool, although struggling somewhat with the timetable. Last night, she was more than two hours behind schedule; this evening, that lagtime was down to about half an hour. The Isle of Lewis should be back in business tomorrow. Here in Stornoway, the winds should be lighter than down south, as we're close to the centre of the causative depression.

I am aware that I have been  blogging a lot about ferries these past few days, but don't forget that we rely on that link for all our supplies. Whether it be by the passenger vessel Isle of Lewis or the freight boat Muirneag, everything comes by sea. Whenever the ferry does not sail for a day or more, the supermarket shelves run empty and you get the phenomenon of those souls stopping in their tracks upon entering the shop, aghast at the empty shelves. Without realising why that is.

Talking of supplies, the Office of Fair Trading will be looking into the price of fuel nationwide. It is of particular relevance here, since the price of our fuel is 20p a litre higher than on the mainland. Rumours and accusations abound that there is a monopoly on fuel supplies here, leading to higher prices. I mentioned our fuel price earlier this week: £1.50 a litre or $9 a US gallon.

Hurricane update - 5 September

Hurricane Leslie is headed north at a snail's pace of 2 knots, but poses a direct threat to Bermuda. On Saturday and Sunday, the island can expect the hurricane to pass with maximum sustained winds of up to 100 mph. The Bermuda Weather Service will be posting warnings as the storm approaches from the south; it has been suggested that Bermuda could see winds of 34 knots (force 8) or higher for 42 hours over the weekend, and a lengthy spell of 64 knots (force 12) or higher as Leslie passes.

Beyond Bermuda, Leslie will be making for the Canadian Maritime provinces, but this forecast lies beyond the normal 5-day scope and developments will have to be monitored over the next few days to ascertain whether the hurricane, most likely weakened by then, will actually affect eastern Canada.

Secondly, tropical storm Michael is poised to become a hurricane. This storm, located 1100 miles east of Bermuda, poses no direct threat to land. Although presently moving northeast, the system will veer northwest under the influence of Leslie to its west.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami will be posting updates every 6 hours on both systems.