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Friday 25th October: Violent hail-dropping squalls
Sunday 27th October: The 2002 Great Storm
Sunday 10th November: Why I go fishing!
Tuesday 12th November: Anvils at sunset

Friday 25th October: some action was always on the cards for today but the lack of clear, cloud-free slots meant that photography would be limited in success. But then, mid-afternoon I am pottering about doing odds and ends when I hear thunder. With nothing better to do I head off towards the coast through a bit of a downpour, C-C and C-G strokes included. At Borth the next squall is already showing itself out to sea, and a mean one at that...

Turbulence is the name of the game...

As it came ashore my radio, tuned to 281 LW to check for sferics, started to make a horrible howling noise, which got louder and higher-pitched. As it hit a crescendo the hailstones swept down and the car rocked in the gusty winds. I fired up the engine and raced away from there, thinking a lightning strike imminent! Half a mile down the road and it went quiet, although no strikes occurred. Weird.

I headed out onto the flat sand at Ynyslas to watch the squall march off up the Dyfi estauary - here part-obscuring the hills behind with torrential rain and hail. The scud around the cloud base was a lot more chaotic to the eye than this pic suggests.

The big storm was only a couple of days later, on the 27th. The noise woke me before dawn and I went for a look after the worst winds had died away, by about 10 am. You wouldn't have wanted to go out earlier! The damage was localised but areas exposed to the NW, not our prevailing wind direction (SW) here, suffered extensive damage with swathes of trees felled.

At Tywyn the sea was boiling - good job it was a neap tide! If you look carefully you can see a pole with a triangle on it (centre, a bit right and a bit up). This is about 18ft high......

Negotiating the roads up the Mawddach Estuary towards Dolgellau involved a lot of this sort of thing! This was the worst storm for wind-damage since early 1990 in this area.

November 10, fishing at Borth. I said to my mate, "watch my rods", and got this - a portent of a good week's photography and a reminder that even if the fishing's not too good, there are many reasons for "just being there"

Tuesday 12th November: Aberdyfi, just after midday. This Cb with a very low anvil dumped a fair bit of heavy rain on the estuary and the hills to the east. Sferics indicated it became electrified over the hills between Machynlleth and Newtown...

Borth, 3.30pm. Beautiful stacked anvils way to the south. I decide to postpone my meeting in Aberystwyth for an hour and head south, towards Devils Bridge, to catch the sunset on them - hopefully!

Good decision! Taken from the Aberystywyth-Devils Bridge road near Capel Seion........

As darkness falls the last rays of the sun light up the very top of this Cb. A bit of a mixed bag so far this autumn then, but I was rewarded with something a bit more spectacular a couple of days later. This gets its own page - go to part two for a look!



New! Fine Art Prints & digital images for sale-
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