Monday, 12 December 2011


In Scotland we get a lot of "weather". Several people have asked me about the bad weather we had last Thursday (December 8th). Apparently it was on the news in various parts of the world that we had a Red Alert for "hurricane" weather. They elaborated that this "storm force" could results in structural damage.

This is where we live on the west of Scotland and yes, the weather reports on television and the radio did put out a Red Alert and, in my opinion, gave very good notice about a gale immanent and that it could reach "storm" force with gusts of "hurricane" force.

This shows the isobars and yes, it did arrive as predicted. Schools were closed. (I was due to collect Ishie at 3 pm which was to be the peak of the bad weather arriving from the sout-west heading east.) So I had her all day ... which was just fine.

People were let off work early (noon or mid-afternoon) to go home (and lose holidays over it). The news programmes showed how they were ready with teams of workers with chain saws to deal with fallen trees, railway staff to clear lines of debris (garden sheds, trampolines etc), several big bridges closed and fire and flood patrols to the ready.

As Ishie and I were having our lunch about 1 pm a strong gust whistled through our garden and took off the corner of the glass-house of our neighbour. We did not sustain any damage other than plastic buckets being blown around the garden. (What often happens is that roof tiles get loosened and then you begin to notice damp patches on the wall or ceiling.)

This wind turbine did not fare so well.

Basically, I felt the weather forecasting and public precautions were well done. After 2 bad winters (more to do with snow and ice) we are getting better at not going out unless absolutely necessary, in really bad conditions. (It only creates problems for public thoroughfares.)

In the past we have been in situations like this - it was July and we were anchored (2 anchors down) in a harbour on the west of Scotland ... so it is kind of "normal"!

On this occasion no major accidents occurred: one school bus was blown over but it was empty at the time and the driver was unhurt.

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