Met office research should improve wind information

Research undertaken by the Met Office has led to a change in the area boundaries for the west coast of Scotland’s VHF weather broadcasts issued by the Coastguard.

Using a computer model of historical weather data for the area, the Met Office determined that the highest average wind speeds were to be found in the area covering the west coast of the Western Isles, but also north of a line connecting the Butt of Lewis and Lochinver and also a line from Lochboisdale, South Uist, to the western coast of the Isle of Rhum.

Winds of a lesser strength were generally found to be in the Minch, Little Minch, around the Isle of Skye and the Small Isles of Rhum, Eigg & Muck down to Ardnamurchan Point.

The original Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath forecast is still available from the Met Office website and via Navtex.

The description of these two new areas are as follows:
1. Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath, excluding the Minch
2. The Minch, from South Uist and Rum in the south to Butt of Lewis and Lochinver in the north
(These areas are indicated on the attached chart of the area.)

These new forecasts are only available from Stornoway or Clyde Coastguard on VHF radio or by telephone. Clyde Coastguard only broadcast the Minch forecast (2) in their MSI broadcasts.