Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Grade A Grey Days

For the past five days, it has been unseasonally overcast grey, windy with occasional heavy showers (and a severe weather warning for rain!), and the forecast for the next four days is similarly 'unsettled' (including a forecast for hail!). For a couple of days it was so darkly cloudy my solar garden lights didn't charge. What happened to the summer?

I know I bang on about the weather in true Brit style. Of course I do, it's so changeable and varied across the country, affecting our moods and activities. I get a bit fed up of the generalisations in headlines and weather forecasts, which seem to be centred on an area roughly including London and south-central England and an audience who want to know if they will be rained on during the school run/rush hour or weekend barbecue. A friend from the home counties messaged me the other day, finishing 'hope you're enjoying the sunshine' (because it was about 30oC where she was) and was surprised that it was tipping down here, and had been for days.
No playing outside today
Partial double rainbow, late afternoon sun

The cats are also pretty fed up when they can't play outside. At least with rain, there's a chance there'll be rainbows.

No viewing the Perseid meteor show for me - it was overcast, although the light cloud didn't obscure the Blue Moon at the end of July.
Blue Moon, 31 July 2015
By the time I had finished various jobs and errands on the last sunny day (a week ago!) it was evening. I went off to Broadhaven thinking I would swim, as the tide would be coming in over sun-warmed sand. But the clouds were already gathering for the rain party and I sat on the shore in a stiff onshore breeze and a sweatshirt, using my beach wrap as a scarf. There were people in the water, playing ball and swimming. As they emerged, I saw that everyone was wearing a wetsuit!

Broadhaven Sunset
The sunset was nice, but nothing spectacular. Despite taking an antihistamine, my hands were starting to itch with cold-induced urticaria and I hurried off back to the car, forgetfully leaving my newly-cleaned beach mat on a rock. I didn't realise I'd left it until I got home and felt guilty about leaving it as if it were litter. I hope someone picked it up and will get some use out of it themselves - although it probably won't be this week.

The Met Office forecasts are generally pretty reliable (although there are plenty of instances where the forecast shows sun and I look out at drizzle) and they have a blog. It includes news items on worldwide weather; tropical cyclones putting our grey rainy days into perspective. I was alarmed to see that the BBC were changing the source of their forecast information to another provider, so it will be very interesting to see how accurate that will be. I've tried some other sources, but generally come back to the Met Office for UK weather.

Sunset through office window
The old rhyme about red sky at night doesn't seem to be working, as I've seen lovely sunsets followed by rainy days and pink dawns followed by sun. I wish I could forecast spectacular sunsets so that I could see them on the coast - I see the best sunsets from my (slightly grubby) office and bedroom windows.
Sunset sky with Preselis in distance
Dawn sky with Preselis in distance

I hope we'll get some more warm, sunny weather before we have to accept that Autumn is with us. I don't want to give up on Summer just yet!

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