Friday, 13 December 2013

More Gales Forecast

Mares tails high in the sky with a few ragged cumulus below were the traditional way of telling that a frontal system was coming in from the Atlantic, bringing a sudden deterioration in the weather. These days we have a choice of forecast sites of the internet, of which Yr.No remains one of the best: this Norwegian forecaster provides two forecasts for this area, 'Kilchoan' and 'Kilchoan Bay' - and sometimes they're different - while the BBC hasn't heard of Kilchoan.

For those of us who love to watch the development of a synoptic chart as good gale arrives, the Met Office have a new synoptic chart site showing isobars and fronts over the Atlantic, here.  So we have tight-packed isobars  and a complex of fronts arriving around midday tomorrow, and a nasty little depression swinging in around the same time on Sunday, both bringing southerly gales with winds averaging over 30mph at their height.

To warm us up for what may be to come, we had a power cut this morning, though it lasted for less than an hour.  Then, in one of the brief sunny intervals around midday, four fighters swept low over the village.  These low-flying exercises elicit very different reactions from people living in an area like this, where they're not uncommon.  For those with livestock and highly-strung dogs, the sudden roar of jet engines can wreak havoc, but others accept that these pilots must have the opportunity to train in the sort of exciting terrain that west Scotland offers.  The Diary has very tentatively identified the aircraft as American F-16s.


  1. This is a F15 John. If you look very carefully, you can see the double tail fin but also a clear canopy. The tail marking code, LN, shows that it is an F15 from the USAF 48th Fighter Wing based at RAF Lakenheath.
    An F16 has a tinted canopy, but perhaps the most identifiable feature is the large air intake on the bottom of the aircraft directly underneath the cockpit.

    See page 15

    Alan (from Dundee)

  2. Many thanks, Alan. I always seem to get these identifications wrong. Jon