SUMMER 2005 - PART 2:
A convective desert in Wales/Boscastle Revisited


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July and August 2005 have seen some impressive storms, not least the possible supercell that produced the strong and damaging tornado that struck Birmingham on the 28th. However, Mid-Wales largely missed out on the action with very little worth going after!

I spent a lot of time on my travels in July and especially August so here are a selection of images from a quiet but at times beautiful Summer over here.....

There were a lot of days like this - hot and rather hazy. Difficult for photography but ideal for the geological fieldwork I was doing! This is looking down the Bwlch y Groes - one of the highest mountain passes in Wales, it connects Llanuwchllyn near Bala to Dinas Mawddwy.

These are the Rhinogau from the A470 near Trawsfynydd. A band of frontal cloud is moving in from the west and low cloud is spilling over the ridge....

This was taken near Llanbedrog on the Lleyn Peninsula, looking towards the Rivals, the Snowdon massif and Tremadog Bay - 4 slides stitched together!

Sunset over the marshes near the mouth of Afon Glaslyn - from the Cob at Porthmadog.....

....and a little later, zoomed-in!

August saw a TORRO meeting in Devon and I decided to continue on to Boscastle to see how things were nearly a year after the disasterous flash-flooding. Remember the incredible scenes from last year?? Well this is now.

The place is making an excellent recovery, and is thronged with day-trippers, although locals told me that the overnight trade is still down on usual. Having spent a weekend there I can say in all honesty go on down and stay there - utterly beautiful and incredibly friendly, it's somewhere I will definately be returning to in future!

Scars still abound from the floods up the wooded Valency valley. Local Nick Holmes kindly showed me around the catchments affected by the tremendous series of storm-cells which over a few hours dumped up to 200mm of rainfall in the area. Here, Nick and my friend Jo in the foreground are standing/sitting by the Valency in its normal state, while to the R a debris-wrap is visible from the flood: another can be seen downstream just to the left of Nick and Jo.....

....while here is the Valency early one morning alongside the Riverside Hotel - back to being a clear, babbling brook.

This is a screen-capture from a video clip I have. It's taken from the excellent B&B Myrtle Cottage, where we stayed, looking uphill at about 1615 BST on the day of the great flood. The video's frightening - the speed of the water is unbelievable!

This is looking down the street (or downstream!). The car was swept away shortly afterwards. Thanks to Dave "College" Fletcher for letting me have the clip!

We also visited the Eden Project during our stay and were both highly impressed. I loved the tropical biome although very high humidity made my camera steam up! This is from the ground: walkways lead up into the canopy but the camera was unusable up there! I think this captures the atmosphere to an extent though!


One of many attractively-planted beds outside....


This is a travelling exhibit. It is made from the electrical goods that the average UK citizen consumes in an average lifetime. Food for thought there!

Boscastle and the Eden Project made an excellent long weekend away and as a combination they work well. We visited the Eden Project on a Monday and although peak season and very busy, the place is so well-organised that this is not a problem - it runs like clockwork!

More recently, I took a party of UK Weatherworld and TORRO members to revisit another flood - the July 3 2001 one on the Mawddach - see
here for the full account of the storms. As you can see, 4 years on, the debris-wraps are still there in their full glory, albeit vegetating over a bit. Photo by Andy Mayhew.

Now let's home for some impressive (but hopefully not damaging) weather over Mid-Wales this Autumn!



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