On the 15th I caught up with the convection as it
was developing, in the Trisant area between
Devil's Bridge and Aberystwyth. I deliberately
targeted the coast in case sea-breezes set in, to
meet the southerly steering flow. The resultant
convergence might produce a funnel-cloud - in
Despite a few promising lowerings, the cloud
simply grew into a big downpour....!
After some time, I abandoned the storm and headed
north towards HQ, pausing to catch this scud
rising into the cloudbase, before the torrential
rain blocked out all visibility....
A quick check on the radar revealed a line of
intense mature storms heading northwards towards
the nearby hills. I intercepted it quickly,
catching it as it was gusting out. In this photo
the gust-front is just approaching....
Tendrils of scud approach the ground as the
gust-front moves over....
...revealing a cavernous "whale's
This is my favourite!
...while this was looking 180 degrees in the
I followed the slot between the gust front's
leading edge and the precip behind me for a few
miles NNW, but the front then met with what had
been a rather innocuous shower over the Dyfi
Valley. This then exploded and became
electrically active giving a deluge and a good
number of vivid lightning-strikes, each,
curiously, involving a CC with a CG at one end,
the CC being first although a very short time
separated them. Once this started I drove to the
edge of its core and sat back to enjoy the
This was classic, text-book stuff. The old
outflow boundary (i.e. the gust-front) moves
forward of the storm that spawned it, and like a
little cold front it pushed tons of moist air
along and up into a developing shower updraught
with a heavy thunderstorm developing very quickly
as a consequence.
A great start there, and only four days later I
was out again. This time I pushed SE into
terrible visibility associated with a powerful
Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) that occupied a
lot of the Midlands/Welsh Borderland, where it
caused some serious flooding. Wanting to see
something, and equally not wanting to get caught
in a flash-flood, I struck out west to arrive at
the coast in early evening, with a useful clear
slot between me and the MCS to my east - the
anvils are visible in this image...
...and another line of thunderstorms on the cold
front to the west. The front steadily approached
and out popped a high-based gust-front....
....which raced out overhead, expanding
...and quickly closing the clear-slot!
The front moved over Machynlleth at dusk, with
another awesome whale's mouth structure, although
it was too dark to photograph.
Moving on to June 22nd and once again convection
is kicking off, this being a line of developing
storms near Newtown. I sat and watched that
lowered area just R of the precipitation - in
prime funnel-cloud conditions they can rapidly
develop from features like this....
Almost! It wasn't though, as a quick check with
The mission continued with an evening drive to
intercept a strong storm between Cadair Idris
(seen here looking W) and the Dyfi Valley. I took
the road up through Corris and then headed along
the A470 to the Bwlch. This is a hallowed ground
for military aviation photographers who catch the
jets flying very low through the pass above
Tal-y-llyn from a vantage point widely known as
Cad West (the notch on the L of the photo above)
and also the Bwlch itself....
...although with weather like this there would be
nothing flying today! Yet another gust-front
through a gap in the mountains at the Bwlch...
...looking down the Bwlch. "Araf" is
Welsh for "Slow" - as there is a
hairpin bend just round the corner this is fairly
good advice. Today a river was running down the
road to make things a little more tricky!
As the clouds moved away some better structure
was visible. I followed these storms SE, passing
a bit of flooding in the Dyfi Valley, but as
evening wore on they tended to decay....
...with this farewell shot showing the last of
them reflected in the Severn at Caersws as dusk
The 24th brought another risk of storms but not
as severe as those of previous days. I did catch
this one near Presteigne, on a reconnaisance trip
armed with a sheaf of 1:50,000 maps, checking out
new vantage points. Just to be original it too
sports a gust-front!
As afternoon passed into evening, further mostly
wimpish storms fired closer to home. Here's one
near Newtown but with its anvil overspreading the
Cambrian Mountains, seen from the Dylife road...
...while I'll sign off with the last cell of that
day, giving the Machynlleth area a soaking!
Although I was pleased with the haul so far, I
must admit to having been somewhat disappointed
not to have seen any of those elusive funnels:
they might have eluded me here in Wales, but
reports came in thick and fast to TORRO with
attached images of funnels from many parts of
England and Scotland during this period. So the
"Great Funnel-Hunt" of 2007 continues!
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