Friday, 29 January 2016

Storm Gertrude

Under the new idea of giving major storms a name, this is Storm Gertrude, which has returned to tradition by bringing us a proper westerly after the recent storms with their prevailing southeasterly winds. As with any storm, it's not the steady high winds which do the damage but the sudden gusts, like this one which has flattened the waves as they break across Glas Eilean.

When one bears in mind that the gusts we're experiencing here on the south side of the peninsula are in the lee of the hills, one can only imagine what conditions are like out at Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse, particularly as these winds have an unusually long fetch which should generate some huge waves.

As always, this storm is graphically illustrated by Cameron Beccario's magnificent global wind visualisation which also shows that, unlike most storms which rotate around an area of low pressure, this is a run of intense westerlies which have reached their maximum speed over an unfortunate Shetland, but which are also bringing high winds right across Scotland. Very unusually, last night our local police took to Facebook to advise drivers not to venture out while Gertrude hangs around. Gertrude is forecast to be with us much longer than most storms, until well into tomorrow evening, and there's another storm coming in on Monday as the elongate frontal system seen at bottom left in the illustration develops into a more traditional, circular and very vicious depression.

As the gusts came through these tups found a rock to shelter behind and turned their rumps to the blast.  We have walked through the village twice today and, while there are plenty of lulls in the wind, and even some sun, the gusts come with stinging sleet and hail.

The weather didn't deter the very large turnout at Ann MacLachlan's funeral this afternoon, though people coming from afar couldn't make it, not could those from Tobermory as the ferry service was cancelled. As daughter Rosie pointed out in a very moving family tribute to their mother, this was in a good tradition, as Ann's husband Allan was buried in a storm, and the couple's wedding featured deep snow which prevented many guests from attending.

No comments:

Post a Comment