Wednesday’s forecast – Plenty of sunshine

Good evening Western Isles. It has been a mixed day across these islands. Many have seen sunshine however light rain and at times slightly heavier rain has been a feature with stubborn to clear cloud. We even had a report a photo of a funnel cloud from North Uist.

On this Tuesday evening, we are seeing some light rain across Lewis and some slightly heavier rain across Harris. Some sunshine but predominantly cloudy. Winds under 15 mph.

Overnight – A mixture of clear skies and cloud. Some light rain at times. Some early morning sunshine. Winds will pick up during the night. Winds of 10 to 30 mph.

Morning and afternoon – A mixture of sunshine and cloud. The sunshine will be prolonged at times. Some light rain and drizzle. But most places should stay dry and the sunshine is expected to increase from the North as afternoon goes on. Winds of 10 to 30 mph.

Evening – A largely dry evening. The odd light shower cannot be ruled out. Plenty of sunshine and there will be a fair amount of cloud. Winds of 10 to 30 mph.

Winds will be from the North East which will keep the edge off the temperatures. Temps of 7C to 15C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:26 and 22:32

South Uist – 04:38 and 22:29

3 days ahead

Thursday – Overcast and chilly with light winds

Friday – Brisk winds and rain

Saturday – Sunshine and showers. with brisk winds

have a great evening

The Western isles tornadoes and funnel cloud database.

This is a new idea I have got which will remain open and updated. With the aim of covering all tornadoes and funnel clouds in the islands.

I will link to separate blog posts on more significant events such as the 2009 tornado which I have already done a blog post on.

2020

30 June – Funnel cloud Taken from the road at Baleshare Beach North Uist about midday today shared to us by Hev Mac

Funnel cloud Taken from the road at Baleshare Beach North Uist about midday today shared to us by Hev Mac

2019

September

Multiple reports of funnel clouds and possible tornadoes on the 27th September

Charlie Macsween Isle of Harris
Catriona Marshall Isle of Harris
Funnel cloud Ness isle of lewis Katrina Reaburn

Aug

6 Aug – Pj Maclachlan stornoway airport

Tori Macinnes – Barvas

Marina Matherson Barvas

July

Lee Colman shared this stunning images from the Uists

2018

2016 August

This photos shared to us by Sandra Johnstone from South Uist

2013

Thunderstorms across the East Coast of the island of Lewis resulted in this tornado occurring

Laxay tornado taken by Chris Macleod

2012

July

13th July

Funnel cloud Outend Coll taken by John Norman Maclean

2011

August

Funnel cloud taken from Stornoway Airport looking towards Barvas taken by Helen Macauley

2009

The Stornoway tornado occurred in July 2009. I have written a full in depth blog post on this last year

https://westernislesweather.com/2019/07/28/july-28th-2009-stornoway-tornado/

Stornoway tornado 2009

2007

September

Borve funnel cloud taken by Katrina Reaburn

July 2007

A tornado was reported on Barra on the 25 July

Even made the BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/6917167.stm

YouTube footage

https://youtu.be/6krxDeutxuQ

If you have any photos or videos. Newspaper articles to contribute let us know!

Tuesday morning brief

Good morning Western Isles this is your morning brief

On this Tuesday morning, we are seeing a fairly overcast start to the day with some light rain and drizzle. Some mist and low cloud. We are seeing some sunny spells in the breaks in the cloud. the best of the morning sunshine so far is across Barra.

Pollen forecast for today is Moderate.

Across the highlands and islands on Monday South Uist range had the lowest maximum temperature of 14.4C

Today – We are going to see a few showers around. Mainly light but These will be occasionally heavy at times. Plenty of cloud around but this will start to break allowing for some decent and prolonged sunshine. Winds of 5 to 25 mph increasing as the day goes on. Temps of 10 to 15C

Wednesday – Largely fine and dry with plenty of sunshine and a brisk wind will keep temps down. The odd scattered shower.

Thursday – Overcast and on the dull side. Feeling cool for July.

Friday – Heavy rain and blustery winds.

Have a great Tuesday.

Tuesday’s forecast – improvements.

Good evening Western Isles on this Monday evening we are seeing a largely dry evening. A few patchy showers around. These are mainly across Lewis and Harris. Elsewhere dry but overcast with brisk winds. Some sunny spells but the cloud is dominating. Wind speeds in the early hours of this morning were stronger than expected gusting 44 mph at South Uist range.

Overnight – A largely dry night with some patchy light rain and drizzle. Brisk winds and some clear skies at times. The best of the drier weather for the Uists and Barra. Some early morning mist and low cloud. Winds of 10 to 20 mph.

Morning and afternoon – A few well scattered showers around and these will be heavy at times but for most, it should stay dry. A mixture of sunshine and cloud. The best of the sunshine will be across the Uists and Barra. Winds of 10 to 20 mph.

Evening – Cloud will increase again with patchy light rain and drizzle. Still some sunny spells. Winds will be around 10 to 25 mph.

Winds will be from the North and North East and temps of 9C to 15C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:25 and 22:33

South Uist – 04:37 and 22:30

3 days ahead

Wednesday – Fine dry with a mixture of sunshine and cloud but brisk winds.

Thursday – Chilly for July and dry with light winds.

Friday – heavy rain and risk of gales.

have a great evening

Tuesday’s forecast – improvements.

Good evening Western Isles on this Monday evening we are seeing a largely dry evening. A few patchy showers around. These are mainly across Lewis and Harris. Elsewhere dry but overcast with brisk winds. Some sunny spells but the cloud is dominating. Wind speeds in the early hours of this morning were stronger than expected gusting 44 mph at South Uist range.

Overnight – A largely dry night with some patchy light rain and drizzle. Brisk winds and some clear skies at times. The best of the drier weather for the Uists and Barra. Some early morning mist and low cloud. Winds of 10 to 20 mph.

Morning and afternoon – A few well scattered showers around and these will be heavy at times but for most, it should stay dry. A mixture of sunshine and cloud. The best of the sunshine will be across the Uists and Barra. Winds of 10 to 20 mph.

Evening – Cloud will increase again with patchy light rain and drizzle. Still some sunny spells. Winds will be around 10 to 25 mph.

Winds will be from the North and North East and temps of 9C to 15C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:25 and 22:33

South Uist – 04:37 and 22:30

3 days ahead

Wednesday – Fine dry with a mixture of sunshine and cloud but brisk winds.

Thursday – Chilly for July and dry with light winds.

Friday – heavy rain and risk of gales.

have a great evening

Noctilucent cloud

Every summer around the solstice we are treated to a stunning display of Noctilucent clouds. This year has seen some utterly stunning displays across the islands and across the UK. This is my favourite of all the clouds.

Noctilucent cloud or night shining clouds occur in the upper atmosphere. They tend to be best seen around the solstice as the light from the setting sun illuminates them. They are some 250,000 feet in the air.

Noctilucent cloud in June taken by Magz Macleod

This year has seen some stunning displays they can be witnessed best after midnight if you want to see them yourself. It is worth waiting up to see them. It is always a magical sight. However, with anything that’s best viewed in our sky cloud does tend to obscure this Phenomenon. Check out our social media channels for when it is visible and cloud forecast updates.

Essex NLC was taken by Paul Botton this month.

As highlighted above the NLC can be witnessed anywhere across the UK and large parts of Europe. It really is a magical experience to witness.

Feel free to share any photos with us. Time is running out for the 2020 season.

Monday morning brief

Good morning Western Isles this is your morning brief

On this Monday morning, we are seeing a fairly overcast start to the day. Some mainly light rain and drizzle. Some sunny spells but for most its overcast. Mist and low cloud is also a feature of this mornings weather. A contrast with the strongest winds speeds so far today with winds under 10 mph at Stornoway Aiport gusting 44 mph at South Uist range.

Across the Highlands and Islands on Sunday Harris Quidnish lowest maximum temperature of 13.0C

Pollen forecast for today is moderate.

Today – Winds should slowly ease down across the Uists and Barra. We are going to see a fairly overcast day with further outbreaks of light rain and drizzle. The odd heavier burst of rain cannot be ruled out. It should become drier and brighter as we go into the evening with increasing amounts of sunshine.

Tuesday – Sunshine and showers with brisk winds. Feeling cool.

Wednesday – Mainly dry and overcast with some sunshine brisk winds and temperatures struggling

Thursday – light winds overcast with light rain and drizzle.

Have a great Monday!

Week ahead forecast – Staying cool and staying unsettled

Welcome to the week ahead forecast. The full in depth forecast for Monday can be found in the update below this one. Its been an unsettled weekend with low pressure dominating our weather. Things will stay on the unsettled side this week and will be rather cool for June.

Tuesday – Sunshine and showers and feeling cool. The best of any drier and brighter weather will move in from the South as the day goes on. Winds will be coming in from the North and North East which will make it feel cooler. The winds of 10 to 35 mph. Temps of 10 to 15C

Wednesday – Is expected to be a better day. Still plenty of cloud but we are expecting to see more in the way of sunshine Winds will be still from the North and North East around 10 to 20 mph and temps of 7C to 14C so still feeling chilly as we move into July.

Thursday – Another chilly day…. I know I am sorry. We are going to see plenty of cloud with some sunny spells. It’s expected to be dry until the evening. We are going to see mainly light winds however these will increase as we go into the evening from the South. Winds will be from the North and North West but will shift to come from the South by the end of the day. Winds of 10 to 30 mph. Temps of 6C to 14C

Friday – A long way off as yet but is looking fairly unsettled. Looking windy with further spells of rain which could be heavy during the early hours with the cloud dominating. Winds of 20 to 40 mph from the South and South West. Temps recovering 8C to 16C

Long range staying unsettled and on the chilly side for July.

I hope you have a great week. Over the course of the coming week, we will keep you updated with the latest weather and the 3 day ahead forecasts. Keep an eye on the blog for extra updates!

Monday’s forecast – An overcast day

Good evening Western Isles. We have seen a wet day across the islands. The rain has been heavy and persistent at times. This evening we are seeing mainly light winds and further spells of heavy rain. However, the winds are starting to increase for the Uists and Barra.

Overnight – Wills see further spells of rain which will be heavy at times. Maybe even persistent across portions of Lewis. Cloud will dominate. Some mist and low cloud at times. Winds of 0 to 20 mph for Lewis and Harris gusting 30 to 40 mph for the Uists and Barra.

Morning and afternoon – It’s going to be largely overcast with further rain which again will be heavy at times. Becoming lighter and more patch into the afternoon. This will be accompanied by further drier spells. `Some sunny spells but overall the cloud is expected to dominate. Some mist and low cloud in the morning. Winds will remain stronger across the Uists and Barra. Winds of 0 to 20 mph gusting 35 mph for the Uists and Barra.

Evening – Will be overcast with some brighter spells. Some occasional sunny spells. Some light rain and drizzle is possible but the heaviest rain is expected to have cleared away. Winds of 5 to 25 mph.

Winds will be from the North and North West and temps of 9C to 15C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:24 and 22:33

South Uist – 04:36 and 22:30

Have a great Monday

The full week ahead forecast will appear in the next update.

Sunday morning brief

Good morning Western Isles this is your morning brief.

On this Sunday morning, we are seeing very heavy rain across North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist this is slow moving. Lighter rain elsewhere an overcast morning. Winds are mainly light.

The SEPA flood alert for the Western Isles has now been cancelled.

Pollen forecast for today is low

Today – Will be a cloud dominated day. We are going to see further spells of heavy rain. This will be persistent at times. Some mist fog and low cloud at times. Some sunny spells but the cloud is expected to dominate. There is a chance we could see some thundery showers for a time. however, the risk is much reduced of late. Winds will be mainly light 0 to 20 mph.

Monday – A day of sunshine and showers with brisk winds. Feeling cooler than of late.

Tuesday – Sunshine and showers but becoming drier from the South later with increasing amounts of sunshine.

Wednesday – Largely dry with plenty of sunshine but still feeling cool.

Have a great Sunday.

Sundays forecast – Sunshine and showers

Good evening Western Isles. A strange day. The rain warning for the most part did not bring a lot of rain to the islands. The heaviest of the rain today was across Ness and North Lewis. With spells of heavier rain. Still the warning remains in place till 2200 this evening with a further chance of rain this evening.

On this Saturday evening we are seeing a few showers around which are heavy in places and at times are thundery. Winds are mainly light. Plenty of cloud around with the best of the sunshine to be found across Lewis.

We remain under a SEPA flood alert.

Overnight – We are going to see an overcast night with outbreaks of rain which will be heavy at times. Possibly thundery. Some drier interludes at times. A few early hour sunny spells. Some low cloud and mist. Winds of 0 to 20 mph.

Morning and afternoon – A mixture of sunshine and showers. These will be heavy at times and possibly merging into some longer spells of rain. A few of these showers could be thundery at times. Some mist and low cloud. Winds of 0 to 20 mph.

Evening – Further spells of rain and again these will be heavy at times. Some sunny spells. Winds of 0 to 20 mph.

Winds will be from the West and South West and temps of 10C to 16C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:23 and 22:34

South Uist – 04:35 and 22:30

3 days ahead

Monday – further heavy overnight rain. Then showery. Stronger winds for the Uists and Barra

Tuesday – A few scattered morning showers then sunny later.

Wednesday – fine dry cooler and breezy.

Have a great evening.

25th and 26th June 2020 Storms

On this blog we are going to take a look back at the rare thunderstorm event that impacted the Western Isles. I hope you enjoy this look back and it hopefully brings together all the aspects of the event.

So the best place to start was why am I calling this event rare? We get a lot of out thunderstorms occurring in the winter months. These mainly caused by the differences in between the temperature of the sea and the land. Since living on the island since 2004 there have been a number of thunderstorm events but this was by far the most significant and the sheer volume of lighting strikes. We get summer time thunderstorms but they are a lot rarer and usually a lot more short lived.

This was the previous 24 hour lighting strikes from netweather across the islands. From 07:00 Thursday till 07:00 Friday.

So moving back to the start of the week. I got a message from my friend Dan Holley. Owner of the excellent convection weather website. He gave me the heads up early on the week that there was going to be a risk of thunderstorms later in the week. By this point, the Met Office had also started mentioning the risk of thunderstorms in their text forecasts for Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday morning the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms for Thursday and Dan issued a Moderate risk for us including a severe element for large hail.

Met office warning
Convection weathers forecast

A more in depth and technical forecast from convection weather can be found here http://www.convectiveweather.co.uk/forecast.php?date=2020-06-25

So by this point, my excitement had really started to build up. Ask any of my friends I was really hyping things up. So I was working on Thursday until 1700 so this was going to really limit my ability to storm chase. But the very worst of the storms where forecast here for the late afternoon and evening. I had weather radar from Netweather.tv on from 0900 which showed the storms already across Tiree, Mull and moving along the West coast Mallaig and Oban. At just before 10 am a flood alert was issued by the Scottish Environment protection agency which covered the entire Western Isles.

Into the afternoon and the storms started firing across the Uists and Barra and the first reports started coming into my page from the islands. I went down to the beach on my lunch break and experienced my first rumbles of thunder of the day. Around 1600 things when utterly crazy. With huge amounts of thunder and lightning as multiple storms rolled across my location bringing thunderstorms to Lewis and Haris. This result in large hail stones being reported and multiple lightning strike. Alongside flooding which resulted in a road being washed away in Harris.

Bain Square flooding
Lightning in Lermerway taken by Kenny Mackay
Hailstone photos from Anneline Macleod and Morag Sinclair

I was working at the time of the first main wave of thunderstorms but lighting bolts rained down and heavy rain which resulted in the flooding above and damage to the road surfaces in Stornoway.

We then had a lull followed by more thunderstorms building across Skye and moved across to North Harris and right across the middle of Lewis and back out in the Atlantic which resulted in a barrage of lightning strikes as multiple cells brought heavy rain and lightning bolts that came crashing all around. Outside of the USA I had never seen anything like this before. I counted 30 strikes in about 20 mins. My phone went into melt down with notifications from friends and across my social media platforms.

The next few photos are from me showing a radar grab of the storms at one point and also my view on the Point peninsula watching the storms roll past. I spent in total 2 hours watching these storms this is not an event I will forgot in a hurry.

This resulted in some stunning thunderstorm photos. Many of which were shared to the page. Further thunderstorms occurred during the early hours of Friday morning. I managed to sleep through those.

Gamma Nicholson – Laxay

Friday we had the aftermath of the storms with the road out to Rhenigidale washed out. The council and road teams in Harris quickly got the only road in and out of the village repaired

Dan Holley from Convection weather explains exactly what happened for the Western isles –

A plume of warm, moist air over Scotland drifted slowly northwestwards towards the Western Isles during Thursday, becoming engaged and destabilised by a shortwave lifting northwards. This resulted in elevated thunderstorms erupting in the vicinity of the Hebrides, their slow movement and a very moist airmass (precipitable water of 30-35mm) producing some localised flooding. Furthermore, the magnitude of instability and more specifically wind shear mean that the thunderstorms became organised and long-lasting, producing large and potentially damaging hail, as well as frequent lightning.

Maryhill taken by Kate Macmillan

I hope you have enjoyed this look back at the storms last Thursday and Friday. I had done my best to ensure all images are credited correctly. Any issues let me know. Thank you for reading.

Saturday morning brief 27th June

Good Morning Western Isles this is your morning brief.

On this Saturday morning, we are seeing a mixed start to the day. Plenty of sunshine. Feeling warm Some cloud and rain across Barra and South Uist. Winds for most are light.

We remain under a SEPA flood alert. More information. can be found via the SEPA website.

A Met Office yellow weather warning for rain comes into force at 0900 this morning and expires at 2200 this evening. The full warning and latest updates can be found via the Met Office website or app.

Pollen forecast for today is Moderate.

Across the Highlands and Islands on Friday Harris Quidnish was the Wettest with 11 mm of rainfall.

Today – For most this morning will be dry with a mixture of sunshine and cloud. Barra and the Uists will see a few showers moving in heavy at times. This afternoon and evening all parts will see rain which will be heavy and at times slow moving. This could turn thundery at times especially as we go into the evening and overnight. Temps of 11C to 19C winds mainly under 20 mph.

Sunday – Sunshine and showers. Heavier rain for a time and blustery winds.

Monday – Winds gusting 40 mph for a time. Outbreaks of rain but becoming drier lighter

The middle part of the week is expected to be more settled before turning wet and windy again towards the weekend.

Have a great Saturday.

The return of Western Isles Weather forecasts

Please read

Good evening all

Tonight, marks the return of Western Isles Weather forecasts after a 9 month break. If you haven’t seen it yet the forecast for Saturday can be found below this post or on the blog https://westernislesweather.com/ Yes, I am back on the island. This occurred back in March a week before lockdown. So, I did not break any restrictions. The island is my home and I am very happy to be home and once again able to provide you with forecasts once again. I am a bit nervous about bringing these forecasts back. I hope people will still want to read them. I would still do them even if no one read them as I love talking about the weather and sharing. My passion but also good to know they are beneficial. I have had a lot of positive feedback from people about the forecasts coming back.

So, this means a return of daily forecasts. Every night we do a forecast for the next day. Each morning we do a morning brief which covers current weather as well as any updates on the forecast for that day and also the next few days. All these can be found across our social media platforms. We are on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We also have a blog as well which is https://westernislesweather.com/. We will be posting all forecasts on blog along with regular blog updates on various weather impacts for our islands, national and international weather conditions and news. The blog is a great place to send people who want our forecasts but don’t have access or don’t like social media platforms.

During the course of the almost 8 years of Western Isles Weather, we have covered a number of weather events. Several tornadoes, multiple thunderstorm and snow events. A number of major storms including the 113 mph storm in 2015 and most recently storm Brendan. Once again, we will cover all these events and help to provide you with the best information on any impending weather events combined with all the relevant information from the local and national government to keep you up to. date. We always post Met Office warnings and SEPA flood alerts with the latest information.

I have a few new ideas that I want to try out in the coming weeks that I hope will help to make Western Isles Weather even better. As ever I always I welcome any suggestions and constructive feedback. I am always extremely humbled when anyone comes to this page for weather forecasts and I always work tirelessly to provide the very best information and accurate information. it’s a great passion of mine and this page is something that I am extremely proud of. We have built quite the community here and I hope it will continue to grow. It needs your help to grow. One thing that really helps is your reports, photos and videos help to build up a great picture of what is going on across the islands from the Butt to Barra. I have joined as many local groups as possible as it’s a great resource to find photos and reports. If you see anything that may be of interest tag me or give me a message. I may be based on Lewis but for me, it’s important to provide a good forecast for Barra as for Lewis and everywhere in between.

Thank You,

Richard Cooke.

Saturday’s forecast – Heavy rain at times

Good evening Western Isles on this Friday evening we are seeing a mixture of light showers around some drizzle. A few scattered heavier showers. Some hazy sunshine. The cloud is largely dominating and we could see further heavy showers this evening and again these could be thundery. Not on the same scale as last night.

We remain under a SEPA flood alert. The full alert and latest updates can be found via the SEPA website.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rainfall which covers the Western Isles for Saturday. The warning comes into force at 0900 Saturday morning and expires at 2200 Saturday evening. The full warning and latest updates can be found via the Met office website or app

Overnight – Will be a largely overcast night. A few showers around. But most places are expected to stay dry. Some clear spells and early hours sunshine. Winds of 5 to 30 mph strongest of these winds will be across the Uists and Barra.

Morning – A few morning showers around which will be heavy at times and possibly thundery. Some sunshine but plenty of cloud. Winds of 5 to 20 mph

Afternoon – We will see bands of rain start to move across the islands. These will be heavy and persistent at times. This rain could be thundery at times Not all will see rain with plenty of cloud and some sunny spells. Winds of 5 to 20 mph.

Evening – Further spells of rain which will be heavy and persistent at times. This will push across the entire islands. The rain could be thundery at times. But as the evening goes on this will start to beak up and we will start to see some sunshine. Winds of 0 to 20 mph.

Winds will be from variable directions and temps of 10C to 19C

Sunrise and Sunset

Stornoway – 04:23 and 22:34

South Uist – 04:35 and 22:31

3 days ahead

Sunday – further bands of heavy rain and some sunny spells with blustery winds

Monday – Sunshine and showers breezy

Tuesday – largely fine and dry with sunshine but more cloud in the North.