I can’t remember the last time we had storms like the ones we’ve been having over the past two days. Not since we’ve been here on Skye or down in England previously. Well I say that, but you know when I start to talk about it (or in this case write about it) I find I can remember one fine storm. I’m not talking about the “Great Storm” that ploughed its way through the south of England in 1987 causing massive devastation in a huge swath from Cornwall, through Hampshire and beyond – I somehow slept through that one – I’m talking about a summer storm probably in about ’88 or even ’89. We’d had quite a hot spell and as if often does, it turned sultry and still for a few days and then late one afternoon we could hear it coming. It rumbled for hours getting slowly closer and closer until just after it got dark, it struck! It was massive! Strong winds, thunder, lightening and torrential rain. I remember the drains were blocked in our street because of all the hot dry weather which had formed a dusty crust on the top of the water. This crust was so thick with husks and dried leaves that the rain just lay on top and flooded everything from the road right up to the step below our front door – we had three steps.
It was a spectacularly brilliant storm and the kids and I watched it excitedly as it crashed around us. But it only lasted a few hours and then it was gone! Oh I’ve seen huge cumulonimbus rise so high they touch the top of the atmosphere and spread like giant mushrooms and watched lightning from a hill to the west of Winchester, dance across the eastern outskirts of the city.
I even remember, when I was a wee bairn (6 or 7) there were spectacular thunder storms that made our phone ring as the lightening hit our village exchange and had me running into my mothers room to hide in her bed. But none of them ever lasted for more than a few hours. They barrelled in, created mayhem and left.
What we are experiencing now however is quite different. It began on Sunday gradually growing more and more intense over Monday. All day yesterday it raged! The winds howled, the hailstones crashed and set off the car alarms and the birds flew in crazy paths across the glen as they negotiated there way from their roosts to the food stations in our garden.
All last night it raged, lightning flashed steadily across the skies, clouds raced, separated and regrouped. Thunder rolled mercilessly as the storms stomped around like some great supernatural army waging its long awaited battle over the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
It’s really quite exhausting just thinking about it. Oh and guess what? According to the weather man, we’ve still got more to come. Oh deepest joy! But it is winter after all!
|Day||Weather||Maximum Day Temperature||Minimum Night Temperature||Wind Direction and Speed|
|Friday||Light Rain Shower||5°C||0°C||North North Westerly
|Saturday||Light Cloud||4°C||4°C||West South Westerly
|Sunday||Heavy Rain||8°C||5°C||West South Westerly
Last updated 14:10
|TIME||1500 HOURS||1600 HOURS||1700 HOURS||1800 HOURS||1900 HOURS||2000 HOURS||2100 HOURS||2200 HOURS||2300 HOURS||0000 HOURS
|0100 HOURS||0200 HOURS||0300 HOURS||0400 HOURS||0500 HOURS|
Weather forecast from BBC today showing the forecast for the week ahead. Looks like Saturday might just be ok.
It’s quite amusing in a strange sort of way the reactions of our dogs to this weather. As you know we have Tali, our Black Labrador. She’s six now and very laid back even if she is getting a bit creaky – she has arthritis in her shoulder. Then we have Lila our Hungarian Vizsla. She’s a character, and such a baby. She hates the wind as it buffets the house and she hates the hailstones as they slam against the velux. When the wind howls down the chimney, the lightning flashes across the sky and the thunder rolls, well that’s the last straw. The only place where she’ll settle then is either in my work room at the back of the house or – if I let her – by the side of my bed (but that’s a last resort believe me). In fact, all day she’s spent roaming through the house alighting wherever it’s quietest.
Earlier this afternoon, I chucked them both outside – mean woman that I am. Well in my own defence, the wind had dropped and there was a chink of blue sky where previously it had been slate grey clouds even if it was somewhat glacial out there. Lila and Tali as it happened were having a lovely time rooting around for mice, chasing the Hoodies until … the clouds darkened the sky, lightning flashed and thunder rolled and Lila’s little tail shot between her legs. She started off with ears pinned back and sat looking at the sky. But gradually she stood and started to sheepishly walk, then she built up speed and fairly scuttled around to the front of the house out of the wind to sit on the doorstep. Oh dear, once back inside – that signalled another hour of clinging to me like a limpet. And Tali? Well she sauntered around the garden totally oblivious to the increasing snow shower and the rumbling thunder until it got a bit too intense and she decided to give me her best ‘puppy dog eyes’ through the window in a bid to come in. Chalk and cheese come to mind! In fact that could be the subject of my next blog. Not chalk and cheese literally – but the antics of our dogs.
On quite a different note. Just before we moved to Skye, in September 2011, my friend and colleague at Wildflower Turf, gave me a beautiful Orchid as a leaving gift. I was delighted! It still thrives and at the moment it looks amazing and inspires a smile every time I pass it by. Why? Because everything else is – well – dormant and quite GREY! See for yourself – I think you might agree!