wet May continued apace after the first ten days
and it's hard to remember a lot about it now with
temperatures soaring into the 70s (June 7th). I
am nicely sunburnt after several good fishing
trips: the mackerel are in off the rock-marks of
North Wales, and the practise I have of working
weekends when the weather's awful has allowed
time off to enjoy the onset of Summer!
Let me take you back - having to use the electric
heater to take the edge off the chill; seeing my
breath in the air walking down Machynlleth
high-street; wintry showers repeatedly being
mentioned in forecasts; the Dyfi full of
floodwater. May's normally a grand month but this
one's been awful in the main.
On Saturday 13th May, Liverpool won the FA Cup on
penalties and I listened to the mounting tension
whilst intercepting some thunderstorm activity in
the Welshpool district.....
...seen here from the Dyfi Valley near Cemmaes
road, the line of towering cumulus that are each
moving eastwards as they turn into Cbs and
release their torrential rain....
I moved eastwards on the A458 towards Welshpool.
At Foel, the storm's core was visible - not much
to look at so far.....
Llangadfan I was obviously very close to the
core. Here, rain-shafts can be seen falling
behind a very low (almost treetop-skimming)
ragged cloud - a gust-front. It was moving very
slowly so I continued eastwards through
Llanerfyl, passing through it into the storm's
greeted with this. The gust-front is out-of
picture to the R and this is looking up into the
clear air on its inside, roofed with an arch of
scalloped clouds, with the torrential rain to its
This part of a storm is
known to us weather-people as the "Whale's
Mouth" - presumably because it's a gaping
hole in the base of the cloud! Here's a diagram
showing what's what.....
Another shot in portait format....
The storm moved on and was now decaying. A wander
round the lanes showed that it had been intense,
with rocks washed off fields littering the road
in places, while in other spots springlike
fountains of water were gurgling up from the
As water evaporated off the ground and up into
the downdraught-cooled air, it condensed again to
form thick banks of fog which gradually conspired
to obscure the landscape. So that was that.
further tedious interlude involving rain, rain
and more rain there was the chance to get out
again on Sunday 21st when I headed SE towards
Builth Wells, meeting the developing convective
clouds near Newbridge-on-Wye. Trouble is, the
convection had nothing to check its progress
(which would provide fewer but potentially more
photogenic/impressive storms). Instead it all
fired pretty much simultaneously. This is
disappointment in the same sense that you
would experience if you went to what was supposed
to be a half-hour fireworks display, only for the
lot to be let off at once!
...which is what happened here with the sky
filling up with cumulonimbus anvils until blue
sky was almost nonexistant! As can be seen here
the Cbs were all mammatus-laden but the light was
positively dreadful. This was quite simply a day
that didn't cut it!
ended in the Newtown area but this could have
been the scene more or less anywhere I went! That
type of rain that bounces into the air and makes
50p-sized splat-marks on the windscreen... in
fact this picture pretty sums up May 2006 in many
ways. Luckily June is making up for it. It's 1730
BST now and it's time to wander over to the
beer-garden at my local for an after-work pint.
This is where we all unwind after a day's work
(well in summer, anyway!)....
Over the coming weekend (June 10th-11th) and into
next week it looks like getting still hotter and
then the plume of hot air will destabilise. Some
big thunderstorms are thus a possibility! Watch
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