1 EAGLETON NOTES: Winter

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Winter

I left the Island on the 0700 ferry yesterday morning. When I left home at 0530 it was dark. Dark! Last time I left on the morning ferry it wasn't just light, the sun was almost up. For me the weather isn't the defining factor of determining when winter starts or ends. Nor is the solstice. So far as I am concerned it is winter when one leaves for the morning ferry in the dark.

Living on Lewis gives one a rather different view of life in so many ways. For me it is not really the weather that defines the seasons. It can rain cats and dogs at any time of the year. Summer gales are (or appear to be) becoming more frequent. The average temperatures in the winter and the summer don't appear to differ anywhere near as markedly as, say, Cheshire where I used to live before I came to Lewis in the '70s.

When I was writing that I wondered how much of it is perception (those long hot summers of my youth and the bitter winters of, say, 1947 - which I can remember!) and how much is reality. So I looked up the averages. What I've not been able to find out is what period of years the averages cover.


The one statistic that stands out of me is the daylight hours. Like all statistics though it they don't tell the full story. There may be only 18 daylight hours on average in June but that doesn't tell the whole story. The sun just dips under the horizon and, on a clear night, one can still read a newspaper at 1am (if one wants to waste those beautiful moments reading a newspaper - personally I'd rather walk along the beach).

28 comments:

  1. Difficult to pass an opinion without a time line.
    If it's not good I am reliably informed it will be down to one of the following.
    Trump
    Brexit
    Thatcher.
    Have a safe trip.

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  2. As soon as I returned from my hiking holiday, getting up for work meant getting up in the dark, and taking the Friday evening train to OK's means now a train ride through dark countryside and brightly lit stations. That, for me, marks the seasons, and also the fact that I know need a coat and scarf in the morning and tights when I wear a dress or skirt - all of which was not necessary for months.

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    1. Yes, Meike, it's now time to do 'Winter' things.

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  3. Simply a max temp of 16 C would be enough for me to head south. I would find that very difficult. It is 27 C here today.

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    1. Cro, it did once get above 20℃. It's a shame that I am a heat lover. I was at my happiest (so long as manual labour wasn't involved) when the temperature is in the 30s in New Zealand. Of course, like most people, I don't like humidity.

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  4. Interesting. I think a UK weather organization will have the historical graph with years and such. There has to be or else the weather reporters won't have the record highs and lows.

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    1. Maywyn, the oldest ongoing instrumental record of temperature in the world is the Central England Temperature record, started in 1659. I think that, generally speaking, in the UK accurate records have only been uniformly kept for the last 100 to 150 years.

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  5. 18 to 6.5 is an enormous change in daylight hours. I can hardly imagine it of course.

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    1. In reality, Kate, that doesn't tell the full story because it appears much darker in mid-winter and much lighter in mid-summer.

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    2. Kate you have experienced Swedish midsummer now... Göteborg and Stornoway are pretty much on the same latitude. I also agree with Graham about the darkness being less dark in summer. Likewise, the daylight in winter is never the same as daylight in summer either. The sun doesn't rise as high in the sky in winter. (It gets up late, yawns and goes almost straight back to bed. Pretty much like me!)

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  6. We're just beginning to go through those early daylight hours now, daylight savings has just started here so it's nice seeing more of the sun.

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    1. Amy, when I was living as a part-time Kiwi I was arriving about now and leaving in early April so I never got a full picture of what it was like in the seasons in New Zealand. One of my sadnesses at the time was that I didn't see daffodils for 10 years or so. They were over when I arrived in Napier and over when I arrived back in Scotland.

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  7. Living here where I do, I can't imagine that amount of daylight. 18 hours!!!!!! Too much! Too much!!!! Enough is enough already!!! When do you get any sleep? :)

    Our charts here would differ vastly from those shown. Plus ours would be upside down.

    Have a good week, Graham. :)

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    1. Yay Lee ! we think alike ! I love having night time as well as day time in the summer especially. Glad to be rid of that d@#n sunshine !!!Daylight at 11pm is not or me !

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    2. Lee and Helsie, it's interesting to see a completely different point of view. I looove my long summer days. Your charts would be upside down! You are just sooo funny Lee.

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  8. I think our perception of weather changes as we age.

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  9. The daylight hours is certainly a big variation, whereas your average temperature only has 9deg variation. That one I find most interesting!

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    1. Lynda, apart from the wind (which fairly often reaches hurricane force) Lewis is fortunate in that it's not a place of weather extremes.

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  10. We have just about the same variation in daylight here, I think, but also more variation in temperature.

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    1. Monica, I think the fact that Lewis is surrounded by water moderates the temperature.

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    2. And the Gulf Stream in that water too I think Geeb. x

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  11. Simon and Garfunkel sang "Hello darkness my old friend/ I've come to talk with you again". If I could talk to the darkness I would say - Go away! And let's have those long days back when it's light till very late and you don't have to cower indoors with the heating on!

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    1. How very poetical, YP. I love those thoughts.

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  12. Am I reading the top graph right. Your maximum av temp is 16°C ? Thats our winter. Daylight hours in summer must be fun but not the short winter days.

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    1. Diane, winter in New Zealand where I lived (Napier) was generally warmer than the summer I had back in Scotland.

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