Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Entries from Metcheck on 11/11/05


Very wild day, pouring with rain and blowing a gale. Temperature jumped to 13C in the last few hours, but that's purely academical.


Have a look at all the ferry cancellations up and down the westcoast. And we have no severe weather warning in force from the Met Office, only with regards to rain, not to wind.

10.41 (from Martyn, an observer in Skye)

Wet and windy here in Portree! A.D. (directed at myself) - I noticed there's no severe gale warning for us as well. Strange since I checked the charts and it's almost certainly going to get pretty wild up here during the evening and into tomorrow. Maybe they just missed us off since it's such a regular occurrence!!! No trips to the mainland then!!!!

10.53 (from an observe in Co Antrim)

Cloudy, stormy morning, but wind not too severe as yet. S 26 mph with gusts to 41 mph. Light rain within the last hour. Quite mild with current temperature 13C, minimum overnight temperature 9C. Visibility greather than 7 miles. Local forecast predicts the really strong winds will arrive by afternoon. Better locate oillamps and candles, but hope they aren't needed.

11.09 (from an observer in Inverness)

Morning all, especially to those in the West - sounds like the Minch is getting pretty lumpy and those hatches need battening down again..... I see the Met Office have issued a severe weather warning for gales for NE Scotland this morning but heavy rain for NW Scotland. Maybe they think there's not enough bad weather to go round so they're sharing it out ;)

Over here by Loch Ness it was very wet and quite windy earlier but the wind has eased. A lot of water tumbling down the burn, and drains on the A82 are getting blocked with leaves so there's some flooding. If the temperature drops those roads are going to get a wee bit slippy. Right now it's mild for November at 11C, barometer dropping fast, currently at 985mb.

11.10 own report

Weather here getting gradually worse, with spindrift being blown off the waves in the inner harbour. Ullapool ferry not marked as being cancelled, but even if it does sail TO Stornoway (due to leave at 10.30), it's very much in doubht whether the return trip at 1.45 will be on.


Hardly a ferry running on the westcoast today. Wind increasing further, with pouring rain.


Well, had to put this post in: the sun is out! Wind is now seriously picking up but at least we're having a clearance. Ferry is on its way across (Vomit Comet), but will probably not return to the mainland.

13.31 Skye observer

Just been out to get some lunch - feels much colder than earlier this morning. The rain is still coming down, but it's lighter and brighter than it was a while ago. The wind is certainly strong, however. Portree is much more sheltered than other parts of the island. It will be an interesting drive to Dunvegan this evening, should conditions deteriorate further.

BBC Radio Scotland says that conditions are set to deteriorate through the afternoon. Current gales could increase up to 90 mph during the evening and night. The rain is also set to become heavier as the depression passes to the west.

Currently, virtually all of the west coast ferries are off and restrictions are in force on the roads - the Skye Bridge is now closed to high siders with restrictions in force for all other traffic as well.


Weather has turned into showers, but the squalls seem to be worsening. During one, at about 1.15, we completely lost sight of Arnish Light, only 1.5 miles across the water. A frenzy of seaspray combined with the pouring rain to produce an almost complete white-out. Could barely see the boatsheds oon the far side of the basin, and that's only a few hundred yards. We're now definitely into storm force winds, judging by the appearance of the sea. Notcie that the winds are at galeforce nationwide; one station in East Cumbria reporting gusts of 50mph at 40 miles from the sea! Waves are thrashing over the causeway, and being carried across the width of the basin.


Continuing to be increasingly wild, with the wind edging into the top of force 10 in gusts. Another squall moving in, with me now practically losing sight of the Coastguard Station, only 150 yards away. It's wreathed in flying spray. Erm, I've gotta go out for food. It's high tide, so it's very, very bad.

15.45 Skye observer

I've just got back into the office after going to collect our reserve fuel supplies for our generator in preparation for our mains supply failing here in the office. The wind has really ratcheted up in the last half hour or so, with storm foce gusts now the norm, and a pretty strong sustained speed. The wind is strong enough to be picking the water out of the sea, and the waves in Portree Bay are pretty large now. There is aleadysome damage with broken roadsigns and lots of tree debris littering the place. It's also very windy on the roads with strong cross winds now, which are gustyleading to difficult driving conditions - max 40 mph on the main road north from Portree due to the wind pushing the car about.

Quite bad right now...

16.03 Skye observer

We have flickering lights now in the office... quite a few power drops - looks like power failure is likely. Probably debris hitting the lines. Just spoke to relatives on Waternish and it's very bad there now - Waternish is very exposed!

16.27 2nd Skye observer

Ullinish on westocast of Skye. Don't expect to have power much longer. Or indeed tiles. iT's getting very scary. My monitor is rocking on the desk. I just went to Dunvegan to collect my car and the sea state is very high with water lifted into the air and across the road. The is a 5 kV power pole out of the ground at Dunvegan, being supported by the wires. Not for long I guess!

16.25 (own report)

Just ventured out for a little while. Absolutely atrocious, waves crashing over the seafront all along the town. Wind howling past the Coastguard Station, so strong it blew the water out of a 2 inch deep puddle. Very difficult to walk at times, driving difficult as well. Our ferry is currently sheltering in Loch Erisort, 15 miles south of Stornoway. The lorries on board the freight ferry Muirneag are crashing into each other, in spite of being lashed down. She is now sheltering off Tolsta, 12 miles to the north. It was unsafe for me to walk across the causeway to Goat Island, due to the strength of the wind and the amount of water that comes crashing over.


Jim Berry, Lancashire: I only need to walk half a mile down the road to a Somerfields supermarket for food. But, as you can see from the previous post, it was a battle. Have taken pictures, but they're old-fashioned film, so they won't be available till Monday at the earliest.

16.39 1st Skye reporter

Our CEO just got back in the office after having to leave in a rush. His boat broke its mooring in the bay - lucky it's not matchwood! We also have a guy here who may get stranded - it's likely they may close the Skye Bridge if conditions persist. Power still on but intermittent drops. Very noisy inside due to the wind.

We've been told to go sharpish - as the conditions are now dangerous. Just my luck to be oncall - if you're in the West Highlands and Islands - time to stay inside and ride out this one I think.

Gusting at least storm force 11 now evenhere in relatively sheltered Portree. Will be a nice drive back to Dunvegan.

16.45 Skye reporter

Mobile phone networks have just failed here in Portree - great.

17.16 Own report

We've now got hurricane force gusts coming thourgh in amongst sustained winds that are pushing storm force. Looks like Lewis is in the low pressure centre. There is a colossal pressure gradient; Stornoway is 60 miles from Lusa (Skye), with a 10 mb pressure gradient between the two.


Barometer going through the floor now, at 969 mb. The wind sustains at force 8 - 9, with gusts force 11 - 12.


Difference between SY and Lusa has increased to 12 mb. Lights flickering here - I'll try to keep reports coming through someone else if they go off.


Ferry is just coming into port, about 4h30 late. At least she's coming in (sigh of relief). I'm still worried about poor old Muirneag, off Tolsta

18.39 Skye reporter

I've just driven from Portree back home to Dunvegan (had to pick up some stuff in case I need to stay in Portree should the mains fail) and then back to Portree and I can vouch that the weather is HORRENDOUS! The wind is abysmal, couple that with driving torrential showers and copious amounts of seaspray you can imagine what is like to drive in!!! There is debris in road as well as stones from flooding.

Anyway the power supply did fail here in Portree while I was on the road, but it's all on again now. There is no mobile phone reception at all here, and the TV and radio transmitters were offline earlier, although I can get radio again now. I did hear that parts of Skye had lost their main supply already but I'm not certain. There's plenty of Hydro pepole about, but it's too bad right now for them to do much.

The main electricity substation at Dunvegan is crawling with Hydro engineers and their equipment. Poles, transformers &c - all sat waiting for the inevitable. This substation supplies the whole of the Western Isles and also the whole of North Skye, so if it goes, big areas get blacked out. Let's hope it doesn't fail - at least the engineers are ready if it does.

The wind is gusting very strong here, even worse the further west you go as you become more exposed. The rain showers are torrential right now, with flooding on the road between Portree and Dunvegan. It's still mild as the wind has not yet veered into the west, whichis when we could see the worst conditions.

All in all it's a hellish night, not pretty at all

18.44 Skye reporter

Also the BBC are reporting that the Skye Bridge has now been closed to ALL vehicles. That's unprecedented - it only happened once before and that was in January's hurricane, which was plenty wilder than tonight. I suppose it's pretty exposed.


There is now a relative lull in the storm, with the moon peeping through the clouds. Winds have dropped back to force 7, gusts up to force 10 still quite severe. I'm sparing a thought for the observer in Skye, because Lusa is still gusting up to 67 kn, force 12. Sustained windspeeds over Western Scotland have dropped back a little. Barometer very low - but my guess is that the centre of the storm system is now passing us to the northwest, also because the wind is changing into a southwesterly rather than the sustained southerly we had before. Power still on - for as long as it lasts.


Worst of the storm appears to be over, although force 7 with gusts up to force 9 is still quite strong. Wind has dropped in Ireland as well, but down in Tiree it's still doing force 10 to 12. Benbecula is having similar windspeeds, so I guess Lewis is near the centre of the storm.


Wind has decreased to force 7 -9 and veered west.Notice that the heavy gusts have transferred over the mainland, to the east. Loch Glascarnoch, far from the sea, together with Lossiemouth had a steady force 9 with gusts of force 11 at 21.00. At Aberdeen, Lerwick and Kirkwall they have galeforce 8 with gusts of force 10. Similar at Tulloch Bridge, 70 miles from the sea, where the wind gusts at force 10; Tiree at force 11.


Patrick in Bournemouth: I've been using XCWeather as a source for weatherdata all day, but thanks anyway. Benbecula is still going strong with hurricane force gusts of 64 kn, but average gusts are 40-50 kn all over Northern Scotland. Lights flickering.


Continuing to blow. gusts at Glascarnoch and Lossiemouth now approaching 70 kts. Keep safe!

23.16 2nd Skye observer

Rain fainlly stopped except for minor showers. Moon out from time to time. Winds eased somewhat and shifted to WNW. Power restored after 5 hours out. Thank goodness for generators.


Final report of the day, one of the most exciting of recent times. The severe winds are back, with gusts now up to violent storm 11. Sustained winds of severe gale 9. Low pressure centre now over the Northern Isles. Strong gusts all over the north. Take care everybody out there - good night.



lurkynat said...

Dear Guido,
You've inspired a small verse written by me
for your seamen.
I'm going to call it"The Storm is Out."
It will be silly but sincere

lurkynat said...

Dear Guido, hi!
here is a poem I wrote for you and yur valiant sea captains!
Cheers and keep up the hard work you lot!
yours, natalie