View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A wet day

Hueless grey drapes across the skies
Uniform in colour, or lack of it
The sun, wan and without warmth,
peeps through the veil a final time

A single drop falls on the ground
followed by countless more
the window soon is streaming
if there was light, the wet road would shine

Darkness comes in well before
the sun heads towards dusk
Lights come on, although it's daytime
Cheerless gloom slowly moves up from the east

The yellow glare of the street lanterns
is softened by the glow of light
reflected by the falling rain
closed out by drawn curtains

A fire dully flickers in the hearth
born of sunshine from when the earth was young
chases the chill of a rainy day
away out and up the chimney

Saturday 27 October

An overcast day which turned very wet by the afternoon. The cold weather relented a bit, with the mercury gradually rising to 9C / 48F. We shall have more rain tomorrow, but the wind will pick up in the second half of the afternoon. The ferry has been retimed its Sunday sailing from 2.30pm to 9am in order to 'beat' the wind and, more to the point, the northerly swell.

It is ten years ago that flights to Stornoway were started on Sundays. It was the beginning of the end, as some would see it, for the Lewis Sunday. I don't believe so. Not much has changed over the 3 years since the Sunday ferry started, and I do not expect hordes of vehicles thronging to the quayside tomorrow morning. The Sunday crossing is in fact the busiest of the week, and helps families to be together over weekends. I don't expect shops to open on Sundays any time soon, nor buses to run on Sunday either.

I hope that hurricane Sandy will not have too severe an impact on the USA. As things stand, the storm will come ashore after the weekend in the middle of the most densely part of the States.

Hurricane update - 27 October

Hurricane Sandy is a major cause for concern along the eastern seaboard of the USA, from Florida all the way to Rhode Island. The storm will broadly maintain hurricane intensity, but carries a windfield of galeforce or higher of no less than 450 miles across.

The hazards accompanying Sandy are threefold.
1. High winds. These are liable to blow down trees (still in full leaf), taking powerlines with them, and damaging houses and other property

2. Storm surge. This is currently forecast at 4 to 8 feet from Ocean City MD as far north as the CT / RI border, which includes New York City.

3. Rainfall. At present, totals of 4 to 8 inches, locally up to 12 inches across parts of the mid-Atlantic states is forecast. This presents the risk of surface and fresh-water flooding.

The NHC carries 3-hourly updates.
The NWS will carry advisories for your locality.

Typhoon Son-tinh is currently south of Hainan Island and bearing down on the coast of northern Vietnam with central winds of 110 knots (125 mph) which will only decrease slightly to 95 knots (110 mph) at landfall. The same hazards apply to this system as outlined with Sandy, but to a higher degree - Son-tinh is equivalent to a category III hurricane.