Spent the morning back up in the dusty archives of the Met Institute. Managed – finally – to track down some maps for 1900 the year of the Shetland Delting Disaster.
|20 December 1900|
|21 December 1900|
So here we have maps showing the preceding day and the actual day. It is clear that there are strong S Westerly winds approaching… and I need to ask my meteorological friends for a closer reading than I can provide. I can certainly make out the tell tale signs that there are strong winds and that there is an occluded front (not sure I've spelt that correctly, and only recently knew that it means a mixed front - really need some more meteorological lessons)
|detail of weather map Dec 21st 1900|
|Close up of map showing weather conditions over UK and Shetland Dec 21st 1900|
But the information on the map is only as good as the observations that were then being made… and without the system of observation and equipment that is now used, maybe it’s understandable that the warnings of impending storms did not always reach those whose lives hung in the balance.
Of course on the day of the 1881 Gloup Disaster there was no warnings at all and the newspapers after the loss of life criticised the British Government for not maintaining the telegraphic communication line, which had been allowed to deteriorate. Sadly I can find no information for this date.
more to come....