Squalls in Skye

Thanks to the wide spread of family across Britain, we get to spend time in some pretty wonderful places when we visit. We spent a little more time than usual with family on the Isle of Skye in Scotland this year and so we got to visit some of the prime spots across the island when we were there.

Some might prefer to visit in summer and enjoy wonderful weather, but as a landscape photographer, my definition of “wonderful weather” is different to most people. I want sunshine, of course, and pleasantly warm weather. But I also want wind and clouds and drama. Sitting looking at a comparatively stationary view of the coast is less inspiring to me, and I much prefer the drama of a coastal landscape.

One of my favourite aspects of visiting the island of Britain and the smaller islands in Scotland is rain squalls. Being on a headland or near the shoreline, watching and photographing clouds brushing sometimes heavy rainfall across the landscape. Winter on the west coast of Scotland is one of the best places to do this, because of the contrast of headlands and sea. Heavy clouds forming above the Atlantic and then dropping to the Earth as they reach land.

Sgurr Mhairi from Ashaig
Sgurr Mhairi from Ashaig
An Corran beach
An Corran beach on a steely-blue day
Coral Beach, Skye
Mysterious colours between the rain at Coral Beach

There is one caveat, of course, when it comes to such weather. Swiss friends who have visited Britain have mentioned how the wind and the sudden rain arrives to scupper your plans. Although I have spent a lifetime at the coast, I was caught out when flying my drone in the face of a heavy oncoming rain storm above the Trotternish Ridge and the town of Portree.

Concentrating on the scene I was filming and photographing from some distance away, I had neglected to realise that the rain squall wasn’t just ahead of me, but also coming in from the side. My drone was still a few minutes away when I felt the first drops of rain where I was standing, so it was a great relief that I managed to get it back and land it without the electrics shorting out.

Rain squall over Portree
Oncoming rain squall passing over the Trotternish Ridge and heading for Portree
Nail-biting and inadvisable high-speed flight back into the rain

Discover more from Permanent Tourist

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google’s reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.