Your story – Jane Smith

I think we are a lot more aware of the weather living up in the Outer Hebrides. I know that when I moved away to cities on the mainland I did not check the weather forecast nearly as much. Due to the shelter in built up areas you are not affected by storms in the same way as you are up here. I often plan my dog walks around the weather, especially in winter.I live over on the westside and my house is in a very exposed spot so we get the full force of the winds off the Atlantic. I think to some extent we constantly make adaptions to our daily lives to accommodate the weather. I, for example, will park in the ‘best’ position so that I am able to get out of the car and without the door being blown off. Bins are always tied up.People also tend to keep an eye on the forecast before travelling incase you need to get an earlier ferry than planned. You are always able to tell if there is a gale forecast when you go to the supermarket as it will be busy with people stocking up. If you are unlucky enough to have to go shopping after the gale you may be met with the dreaded empty shelves. 😉This past month has been especially stormy with gales nearly every day. There were some bad storms too. A couple of weeks ago the wind speeds reached 105mph on the Isle of Lewis. I think the official maximum speeds for Stornoway was 92 that night. What surprised me about that storm was how quickly it started. It went from fairly calm to really wild almost instantly. When it was at its worst that evening you could feel the pressure in the house. It felt a little like being on a plane when it starts lowering to land.I don’t ever remember there being such a constant spell of almost daily gales that has gone on as long as it has this year. I wonder if that’s directly due to climate change and if these very prolonged spells of stormy weather will become a more regular occurrence.


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