After what seemed like an endless winter, things on the west coast of Scotland are starting to brighten up.
Though the rain remains annoyingly persistent, spells of sunshine are becoming longer and more frequent as the days go by and it won't be long before the cold and stormy weather seems like a distant memory.
The weather this coming week definitely seems a vast improvement on its predecessors and likely the driest of the year so far; though it may be a bit early yet to retire the raincoats and umbrellas as things are likely to take a bit of a turn at the end of the week.
Today: Today, showers of rain are expected to fall for the majority of the day, with some brief patches of dryness in the afternoon.
Monday: Things are looking to dry up significantly, with white cloud and sunny intervals reported to last all day.
Tuesday: Starting with a bit of a chilly morning, Tuesday will evolve into a bright and sunny day making it the nicest of the week.
Wednesday: Projected to remain dry, but cloudy throughout
Thursday: Some light rain will start of the morning, though will clear up mid-morning and remain dry.
Friday: The weather takes a turn, with light rain expected all day.
Saturday: Ending on a bit of a dour note with heavy rain dominating.
Although we're not completely clear of the rain, the change is definitely coming and before you know it we'll be complaining we're too warm and hoping for a bit of a drizzle to cool us down.
Until then we'll be taking full advantage of the small amounts of sunshine we can get, using the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and fresh flora and fauna - which is becoming more lively every week - and hope that our guests do the same.
With the first meterological day of Spring behind us, we here at Eriska find ourselves eagerly awaiting all the associations of the season. With signs of new life slowly creeping all around the island the days of rain, wind and cold finally seem numbered.
Though the mountains are struggling to shake the remains of the snow from their tops, the days are getting noticably longer and it won't be long until the clouds open up completely to reveal the clear blue sky that we've been dreaming of since the beginning of winter.
But there's still a while to go before the reports of sunshine are upon us and the weather this coming week seems a true testiment to that.
Today: A sunny start to the week, with intervals of sunshine expected to last until mid-afternoon. Heavy rain will appear later in the day and last throughout the evening.
Monday: Light rain showers will fall periodically, though things will mostly be dry with a touch of sunshine in the afternoon.
Tuesday: Looks to be another cloudy day with some light showers.
Wednesday: Rain will dominate, with a mixture of light and heavy rainfall throughout
Thursday: Projected to remain unchanged, with more rain and moderate winds
Friday: Rain will persist another day, though things expected to heat up a bit with temperatures reaching 11°C
Saturday: The week looks to end on a wet note, with forecasts of rain.
So it may be a few more weeks yet before we can retire the winter coats and wellington boots. Though it does look like our guests will have some opportunity to get out and enjoy the scenery without getting too wet!
In the meantime, for those coming to visit this week we'd advise making full use of our indoor facilities, which offers a nice variety of activities for those who want to stay active as well as those who want to put their feet up and relax!
This week Britain has taken a beating from severe weather conditions in the south, leaving many homes, farms and transport routes destroyed by extreme flooding.
Luckily things at the west coast of Scotland have been much tamer, however much to our annoyance, February is proving to be as wet a month as its predecessors. As Scotland endures it's wettest winter in over 100 years we find ourselves asking for any change: cold, sun, even snow.. as long as it stops raining!
Though looking at the forecast for the coming week, things certainly don't look promising.
Today: Heavy rain expected throughout the day, with some brief patches of sunshine.
Monday: With a slight temperature drop, prepare for potentially icy conditions on the road. Heavy rain will dominate in the morning and early afternoon, though things are looking to dry up as the evening progresses
Tuesday: Looks to be another wet day, with light rain and sleet showers alternating throughout
Wednesday: Projected to remain unchanged, with more rain to come.
Thursday: Flurries of snow and sleet are anticipated to fall sporadically throughout the day, with temperatures becoming near-freezing
Friday: The weather looks to take a slight turn, with the day remaining mainly dry.
Saturday: Sunny intervals and light cloud predicted, giving us the opportunity to stretch out legs in the fresh air.
So perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel, with the week looking to end on a dry note - and perhaps a bit of sun!
This bodes well for the spring flora that has started shooting up around the island, allowing them the opportunity to absorb some light and photosynthesize into blossoming flowers just in time for Spring.
With any luck, it won't be long until the rain is behind us and our guests can start to enjoy all that the island has to offer!
Its hard to beleive that we are entering spring but as I write a list of chores for the estate team this week and it seems to be a diverse and complete plethora of tasks from winter jobs to summer jobs. From clearing snow and ice to cutting golf course greens and trimming snow drops. But I try to keep telling myself that it is this changeable and diverse weather that really makes Scotland different! But it is starting to get a bit thin!
One of the beauties of Scotland must be the weather, and that is certainly not to do with consistency unless you can cite the fact that it is always random as being consistent! Indeed we really built the indoor sports facility to take the weather out of the equation although in reality it was the opposite as we tried to make the weather part of the equation for guests deciding to join us here at Eriska with the promise of dry bright temperate facilities come rain or shine. Well we kept our end of the bargain!
So as we are supposed to move into the next season and the Met Office tells us it has been the wettest Janaury on record, as the nights become shorter and the grass starts to grow again its hard to believe that summer is next given that fields are under water, rivers are bursting banks and every day seems dominated by television pictures of weather misery- but in reality its fine as long as a great summer is around the corner- although I suspect its not going to happen next week! So what is ahead next week?
Today: After a wet and windy night is is looking like a bright day but with showers which will be heavy but at least it is above freezing
Monday:A fairly cloudy start with a more organised band of showers but these soon becoming fewer with the cloud breaking up allowing some sunny spells to develop. A breezy day with strong southwesterly winds.
Tuesday: Clear spells and a few showers but becoming cloudier in the afternoon with rain coming in across the coast and this will fall as snow on the hills but stay as rain on Eriska.
Wednesday:A cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, these becoming lighter and more patchy for a time but another heavier pulse arriving in the afternoon. Gale force winds expected.
Thursday: Mainly cloudy with showers in the morning then drying up.
Friday: Cloudy wet and very windy but hopefully drying up before te weekend.
Saturday: Starting to warm up slightly as the wind drops and a drier day on the cards making it all seem better!
The weather in the west coast over January has shown no shortage of doom and gloom, with what seems like an infinite supply of grey clouds, rain and icy winds. This week, in particular, heavy rain and thunderstorms have dominated, leaving many unwanted new water features in their wake.
However, the week ahead shows some promise with things drying up briefly as we reopen our doors to the first flock of guests in the New Year.
Today: Following yesterday's thunder and lightening, heavy rain is due to continue accompanied by strong southern winds
Monday: After a wet and windy night, the rain will continue throughout the morning before gradually dissipating into light showers with sporadic dry patches and brief intervals of sunshine.
Tuesday: The worst of the weather seems to have cleared, leaving most of the morning and afternoon calm and dry with temperatures remaining comfortably above freezing.
Wednesday: Is projected to remain unchanged, with more cloud and tolerable temperatures.
Thursday: Things are projected to take a bit of an icy turn today, with the morning and afternoon remaining dry and some light rain showers showing face in the later half of the evening.
Friday: It looks like the rain will be making a re-apperance bringing with it strong windsupwords of 20mph
Saturday: More rain and wind to follow, ending the week on a bit of a tenebrous note.
So it seems the weather is remaining true to its Scottish stereotype. Though, we at Eriska are not disheartened - after all it is a vast improvement onpervious years - and will take full advantage of our time indoors.
For those joining us at the end of the month, get ready to relax with your feet up by the fire with a good book and a glass of wine. But don't worry, the wellies are aplenty for those wishing to brave the outside.
The days are starting to get longer-
Or so I thought yesterday morning when it was dry and bright and certainly seemed to be dawn earlier than a week ago but then we reached this morning and it is back to the old expected weather with dark until eight. anyway the weather for the New Year celebrations cannot be any worse than it was for Christmas. Several nights of worry that the power would go out and one 4 hour session of darkness was not the ideal Christmas present but at least we survived without too much damage.
So the New Year must be better- or at least we have our fingers crossed for it to start and continue well! 2013 has however not really been bad overall. It was a very dry calm start to the year with mild conditions - a long spring which helped everything in the garden to get out of the ground and then a long warm summer- never too wet and certainly never too hot - so when we have had a month of miserable weather to finish off the year we should not be surprised not aggrieved.
So what can we expect this week?
Today: After a dull start it wil quickly improve and we can expect a generally dry Sunday. Some sunshine but then becoming wet, windy during evening- hopefully once all our New Year guests have arrived safely.
Monday: Showers at first mostly dying out. Just a few continuing on higher ground otherwise mostly dry with clear periods and lighter winds. A colder night with ground frost.
Tuesday:After a wet and windy night it will become dry and bright with some sunshine. Still a few light showers over higher hills.
Wednesday:Hopefully dry start will continue and we will get the annual Golf Competition run before it becomes cloudy later in the afternoon with wet and windy weather during evening.
Thursday: Again the morning will seem brighter but a showery afternoon will start early- a really good excuse for enjoying a long lunch and resting in preparation for the 2014 ahead.
Friday: A cool dawn but the day starts bright with a few showers but rain spreads north later. Breezy throughout.
Saturday:Rain, heavy at times, and strong to gale force winds with more showery weather to follow, heavy and thundery in places, and wintry over high ground.
Each year we seem fixated by the possibility of a White Christmas.
We have now been open for Christmas at Eriska for 20 years and in that time we have "enjoyed" only two occasions where we had a white Christmas. Although the most memorable will remain the first Christmas we opened for the festive period. The guests all arrived on the 23rd and as I went out to the shops for the morning papers on Christmas Eve it started to snow. by the time I returned to the hotel the car was leaving tracks in the snow which was by now lying on the ground. It continued snowing all day and that night it froze with a deep freeze so that we all awoke on Christmas morning to a crisp frozen white landscape, it was cold enough to walk on top of the snow without breaking the surface although as the sun came out and the clouds cleared the crust defrosted enough to make snowman buidling comeptitions a possibility.
Maybe its old age or imagination but I remember this being the perfect weather and probably the conditions we all dream about when we demand a "White Christmas". However since then we have had one white, but some stunning blue skied christmas mornings- always worth pointing this out before people highlight the odd year where the wind has blown the rain has poured and they have been forced to enjoy christmas from inside behind the windows with log fires blazing and an endless supply of mince pies and malt whisky- Christmas can be tough- imagine forced to relax!
Anyweay whether we are cynical or simply beleive the forecasters it looks like Monday and Tuesday are going to be a bit wild. The met office website has even taken the trouble to place a yellow warning over the whole of the UK,
Whilst this looks a bit simplistic it is probably part of their campaign to get everyone home early and safely over the next 24 hours! At least or team only have half a mile to travel to work so weather we have to offer them a boat, kite or simple lift in the car I am sure they will make it in to help with the festivities. So what can our guests look froward to this week?
Today: After a disturbing night with great llightening and thunder today seems like calm after the storm. We may even see sunny intervals and showers but there is the threat of snow on higher ground.
Monday: Further showers, these perhaps merging and becoming heavier through the day an certainly inland showers of snow on higher ground and occasionally wintry at low levels. Hail and thunder especially into the evening as the wind start to pick up
Tuesday- Christmas Eve- Further sleet and snow showers continuing these giving slight to moderate falls in places more especially over higher ground. Gales pushing in form the south east so possibility of tree damage as this is an unusual direction of wind
Wednesday- Christmas day- Starting dry then rain, preceded by snow on high ground, this may be heavy on hills but we should miss it and the wind will start to subside and will seem much milder.
Thursday- Boxing day- Winds easing on Boxing Day, sunshine and scattered showers.
Friday: After a cloudy start to the day it will clear to show a dry and bright, but gales and rain will push back in at night.
Saturday:Dry at first before turning wet and windy across all areas later in the day and probably the last of the wind and rain for the year!.
Is a White Christmas Guaranteed
I have to admit a bit of pity for the poor television weather reporter this morning who was being pushed and encouraged to predict the weather - not for today, nor tomorrow or even the week ahead but for the weather on Christmas day- ten days away.
Given the accuracy of current forecasting and the variable and changing climate it was little surprise that he managed to avoid the question rather then set himself up to be pillared next week when his- lucky guess- would be mocked. It is amazing that given the fact that we can send a probe to the moon- or at least the Chinese still can- and we have powerful computers to work on building models that can predict the future of a drug or medicine- that we still cannot plug in the variables today and find a matching weather pattern ion the past which will allow us to plan ahead.
Anyway I suppose thats what makes each day different- as I show guests round Eriska and take them into our new sports hall I often remark that it is our answer to predicting the weather tomorrow and indeed whilst it is not the heaviest used facility it does give everybody the opportunity of a game of tennis or badminton whatever the weather outside and whatever the time of year. the latter point is extremely important at this time of year as we approach the shortest day next week and the nights close in- at least by this time next week the days will be starting to get longer and summer will be closer well at least spring will be closer!
So what really is ahead for this week given our experience of the weather forecast over the last 40 years of being here at Eriska?
Today:having had a particularly wet and windy week it looks set to continue today although we have woken to a dry and bright morning it is not set to last!
Monday: Rain spreading east after a bright start. Windy.
Tuesday: Bright start with some sunshine, then clouds increasing with rain spreading by midday, reaching the area during the afternoon, with some heavy bursts. Southerly winds strengthening, gales over the Isles.
Wednesday: Any rain soon clearing then mainly dry with clear spells for a time then clouding over with showers later. Windy at times.
Thursday: Sunny spells and blustery showers, most frequent on the higher grounds , some heavy with hail and thunder, wintry over higher ground.
Friday: Sunny spells and showers then windy with outbreaks of rain overnight
Saturday: Turning much colder with snow showers and severe gales over the weekend
Weather forecasts are not always right!
You can understand how after last weeks storms and winds when the forecaster on television prepares us for "substantial rain on the west coast" we start getting our wellies on and gaze to the heavens. However with the mild weather and calm conditions outside it is as ever difficult to believe what the forecasters tell us- until it is too late!
Sometimes we must wonder how we managed before we had wall to wall satellite coverage to keep us up to date on climate and weather forecasts but in reality were we ever any worse off than when we simply stood outside felt the breeze, looked at the clouds and put on an extra jacket or wore a wide brimmed sun hat- probably not! Anyway what do we thing is ahead for this week?
Today: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, some heavy, especially over higher ground as the rain pushes in from the west.
Monday: A generally cloudy day with occasional rain, but becoming heavier and more persistent in morning and spreading across the mountains where rain will also be heavy at times in the afternoon.
Tuesday: A wet end to the day, but the rain will gradually become lighter and more patchy through the night. Staying mild and breezy.
Wednesday: Generally cloudy with outbreaks of rain at first but mostly dying out in the morning with brighter conditions developing and a little sunshine in the afternoon. Still mild and breezy.
Thursday: Mainly dry and bright with some sunshine at times, but also rather cloudy.
Friday: Some rain at times but still remarkably mild with south or southwesterly winds.
Saturday:It will be mostly cloudy with rain, locally heavy, accompanied by strong winds and gales through the night into Sunday.
How times have changed over 40 years!
When I was talking with some guests last night and reminiscing on years gone by they mentioned that they had always enjoyed discussions with my father. In particular they remembered him circulating the diningroom at breakfasts and giving his weather forecast for the day ahead. Oh how times have changed as today we simply print out a forecast form the BBC and place it on every bodies breakfast table. There are however three reasons for this- firstly I am not as good a forecaster as my father and would inevitably get it wrong, secondly we believe guests are slightly more reserved and would prefer to find the forecast in their own time and finally there are more interesting things to both tell guests about the area and about the world than simply Eriska's forecast and now with the plethora of indoor non weather dependent facilities on site there is less importance on the day ahead and the potential weather.
So why- I hear you ask- do we continue to forecast the weather ahead- again it is good for those who area bout to visit us to grasp what clothes to bring and what to expect, and it keeps those who like to know what we are up to up to date with all on Eriska. Like last week when heavy gales were reported on the west coast we can assure you that the wind lasted strongly for about an hour and then passed and the rain was as predicted by our forecast as nothing more than expected for this time of year.
So what can we expect for the first week of December?
Today:As I walked down the hill today it was remarkably mild, the wind had disappeared and the sky seems clear so the rest of the day should remain dry with some sunshine.
Monday: A mainly dry bright day with variable cloud amounts but this breaking to allow some sunny intervals, best across coastal hills
Tuesday: Mainly dry with some bright or sunny spells. It will be cloudy over northern hills with more persistent rain later. Freshening southwesterly winds.
Wednesday: Cloudy with outbreaks of rain with stronger winds pushing in and brining the temperature down
Thursday: Drier, brighter but colder .
Friday: Again windy with rain, turning to snow, especially on higher ground, before clearing later in the day.
Saturday:A band of rain will spread southwards during the weekend giving snow over high ground but clearer, colder and windy conditions will follow from the northwest with showers, these falling as snow.