The author: Dr. Donald Perkins at the weather station now #StayingAtHome because of #lockdown.

Llansadwrn (Anglesey)

Diary 2020

21 plus 2

Logo: Llansadwrn Weather - Melin Llynnon, Ynys Môn

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Times are GMT (UTC, Z). Observations at this station [ ] are 24-h 09-09 GMT, some others { } occasionally refer to other 24-h periods, extremes (provisional) maximum, minimum, rainfall and sunshine are usually 21-21 GMT. When averages are referred to (.) compares with the last decade and [.] with the new 30-y climatological average [1981 - 2010]. All data are subject to verification and amendment.

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  • Record 17.4C 'on this day' temperature recorded in Llanfairfechan on the 7th Chosen event.
  • Heavy rainfall in Llansadwrn and Snowdonia on the 11th Chosen event.
  • Storm Brendan hits hard on the 13th Chosen event.
  • Unusual persistent foggy weather with two rare fog at 0900 GMT observation on the 22nd Chosen event.
  • Winter was not quite over on the 28th Chosen event.
  • Very low humidity recorded. Föhn-enhanced temperatures made for a warm day and brought out the bees on the 7th Chosen event.
  • Storm Ciara brought heavy rain and gales on the 8th Chosen event.
  • Cold air from the Canadian Arctic brought a brief wintry spell on the 11th Chosen event.
  • Storm Dennis brought high winds and tidal surges around the coast on the 15th Chosen event.
  • Large 2 cm diameter hail shower at Gorwel Heights, Llanfairfechan on the 16th Chosen event.
  • A cold night and Snowdon (photo) had a covering of snow and frost deposition on the 6th Chosen event.
  • A close encounter with Mrs Prickles, a weather station hedgehog, on the 20th Chosen event.
  • Confined to our property #lockdown the observer and head gardener making the best of it on the 23rd Chosen event.
  • That Föhn wind again and the first bluebells of the season on the 5th Chosen event.
  • Thick haze result of air pollution and saharan dust on the 10th Chosen event.
  • A quiet walk through the weather station wood listening to the birds and a close encounter with a pile of plates on Sunday the 19th Chosen event.
  • Very low soil moisture ' a very dry event' observations on the 21st Chosen event.
  • RETRO: The dry spell in March and April 2003, and concerns about soil water Chosen event.
  • RETRO: The 18-day drought of May 2004 Chosen event.
  • Dry grass no dew mornings, but heavy guttation seen on lysimeter grass for explanation see the 24th Chosen event.

January 2020

January 1 - a fine sunny morning to start the new year, cool overnight air minimum 2.2C with a touch of ground frost (-1.4C). Air pressure was steady on 1029 mb with high-pressure to the S 1036 mb Spain and 1035 mb SE Europe. Low 971 mb was N of Iceland while a low over Biscay was losing its identity another 970 mb was over the Atlantic to the west. It was sunny along the North Wales coast to N and N E England while SE England had mist and fog. Visibility was good and it was possible to make out the last remnants of a snow patch on Carnedd Llywelyn, otherwise snow was absent from the mountains (Loch Glascarnoch 10.7C Milford Haven 9.2C Redesdale Camp -6.7C Plymouth 3.0 mm Leeming 5.3h Hawarden 5.1h) [Max 8.6C Min 2.2C Grass -1.4C Rain nil]. Jasmine has been flowering in the garden all winter.A mostly cloudy and very windy day on the 2nd with a deepening depression 986 mb W of Shannon, Ireland. A cold front lay W of Ireland to Cape Wrath. The SW'ly was blowing force 6/7 with strong gusts. We were in warm sector air (8.6C just before 0900 GMT), the temperature rising through the day reaching 10.4C by 2037 GMT and 11.9C at Gorwel. Rain in the afternoon from 15-1730 GMT was moderate to heavy at times (5 mm/h at 1600 GMT). A gust of 43 mph was recorded at 1600 GMT at Gorwel Heights, Llanfairfechan (Bude 12.0C Hawarden 11.9C Shobdon -0.4 C Achnagart 39.6 mm Capel Curig 18.8C Leconfield 1.6h Valley 0.0h) [Max 10.4C Min 2.3C Rain 9.8 mm]. A fine morning on the 3rd with a clearing sky and pressure 1022 mb rising rapidly. Atlantic-high 1032 mb was W of Cap Finisterre, a cold front had passed over at 0212 GMT. There was a burst of rain (12 mm/h) and the wind backed SW to N then fell calm. Currently the front was lying SW England to the Wash. We had a dry sunny day with Valley reporting the most sunshine (Swanage 11.0C Pembrey Sands 9.2C Kielder Castle -0.2C Santon Downham 14.2 mm Valley 5.7h) [Max 8.4C Min 4.5C Grass 0.1C Rain trace]. Well we did have a nice day yesterday. Today the 4th in contrast began with overcast sky, fine drizzle and poor visibility. Pressure was steady on 1034 mb with high 1039 mb over Biscay. Low 971 mb was over the Denmark Strait with associated fronts N of Scotland. We had some light showers of rain then in the afternoon the cloud thinned to give some sunshine before dark (Achnagart 10.9C Mumbles Head 10.5C Baltasound 4.9C Benson -0.7C Kinlochewe 23.6 mm Leconfield 5.9h Aberdaron 4.3h) [Max 8.3C Min 3.5C Grass -0.6C Rain 1.2 mm].

The 5th began fine and breezy with moderate misty visibility. Pressure was on 1020 mb with high 1038 mb over Brittany. Looking a little brighter the cloud seemed to be breaking, but soon thickened again with drizzle and slight rain interspersed with promising brighter spells (Aberdeen 12.5C Wattisham 1.6C Achnagart 20.2 mm Capel Curig 12 mm Boulmer 2.2h Hawarden 1.6h) [Max 9.1C Min 5.8C Rain 1.8 mm]. Snowdrops had been flowering in the garden since 31 December 2019.A very windy day on the 6th with pressure 1012 mb falling rapidly. Low 959 mb was just S of Iceland and there was a cold front over Ireland and western Scotland. There was a band of rain over the Irish Sea at 0900 GMT. During the morning Gorwel Heights had a gust of 50 mph, there were gales on high ground with Capel Curig reporting gusts of 63 mph (Lossiemouth 11.9C Leek 6.9C Okehampton 4.2C Achnagart 25.2 mm Whitechurch 14.8 mm Shoeburyness 3.4h) [Max 9.9C Min 7.0C Rain 6.0 mm]. Derek Brockway BBC Wales weatherman.Another wet and windy day on the 7th the sky overcast at 0900 GMT with slight rain and moderate visibility. Blustery SSW'ly wind strong to gale force in the afternoon. I tried going for a walk, but gave up as on reaching the first corner the wind was so strong that it was too dangerous to continue on the road; the Britannia Bridge had a 30 mph restriction imposed. South Uist reported gust of 67 mph, Capel Curig 55 mph and 51 mph at 1230 GMT at Gorwel Heights in Llanfairfechan. Record Föhn-enhanced temperatures were recorded today 15.3C at Murlough Bay in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and 16.9C at Gorddinog and 17.4C at Gorwel Heights in Llanfairfechan at 1250 GMT both stations beating the previous highest 15.0C recorded at Rhyl in 1934 and at St. Abbs Head in 1989 (TORRO). The 17C Llanfairfechan temperature was featured by BBC Weatherman Derek Brockway on the 6.30 Wales News this evening (Murlough 15.3C Porthmadog 10.2C Lo min Shawbury 0.8C Porthmadog 1.6C Cassley 60.0 mm Capel Curig 11.4 mm Kinloss 2.6h Hawarden 0.8h Valley 0.0h) [Max 11.5C Min 4.4C Grass -0.1C Rain 1.2]. A promising start to the 8th with a few breaks in cloud overhead the station, Although pressure 1021 mb rising from a low of 1014 mb at 0017 GMT, hopes soon dashed as closed over again. Remnants of snow seen on Snowdon in the afternoon. It kept fine and dry though cloudy with occasional appearances of weak sunshine as cloud thinned a little. Rain came along by evening moderate to heavy at times, a pretty wet day in Wales overall [Capel Curig 24.4 mm Lake Vyrnwy 23.0 mm Sennybridge/ Mumbles Hd. 17.0 mm Llansadwrn 16.0 mm] (St James Park 12.3C Aviemore 1.2C Cassley 21.6 mm Cardiff 11.4 mm Dyce 5.1h St Athan 0.8h Valley 0.0h) [Max 9.8C Min 6.8C Rain 16.0 mm] . Another grey and dull January morning on the 9th, damp and misty with drizzle. Pressure was rising quickly with low 993 mb over the Celtic Sea tracking towards Brest 997 mb by noon. The afternoon was better and suitable for walking with glimpses of weak sunshine, but cold maximum 5.5C (Writtle 14.1C Lo Max Balmoral -0.2C Min Kinbrace -2.9C Capel Curig 24.8 mm Dundrennan 4.7h Lake Vyrnwy 0.5h Valley 0.0h) [Max 5.5C Min 3.7C Rain 0.3 mm].

A nice winter's day had to come along sometime. The 10th was a nice day after some clear overnight sky leading to a ground frost (-1.6) some cold rain then a rapid clearance at 0900 GMT. Our resident mistle thrush was singing closeby; visibility poor to moderate, fog was lingering in the Menai Strait. Pressure 1024 mb was rising in a ridge from the Azores. Low 959 mb was S of Iceland and isobars were tightening to the north-west. Improved visibility and strengthening WSW'ly wind in the afternoon, sunny, fresh snow seen on the Snowdonia Mountains (Scilly 10.9C Braemar -7.9C Dunstaffnage 20.8 mm Wittering 6.0h Aberporth 5.0h Valley 4.2h) [Max 9.7C Min 2.3C Grass -1.6C Rain 0.4 mm]. Heavy rainfall in Wales on the 11 January 2020.Things got rather rough after midnight on the 11th with Valley reporting gales from 04 to 06 GMT and 09 GMT. The obs were fun, my hard hat was employed, visibility very poor and it was raining - the observer did not linger. Gusts of 42 mph here, 49 mph at Gorddinog, 58 mph at Gorwel Heights, 54 mph at Capel Curig and 61 mph at Aberdaron. Pressure 1014 mb was falling with Icelandic low 951 mb and southern highs 1035 mb Iberia and SE Europe centered near near Verona, isobars were tight to the NW of here. AWS rainfall record 24h to 09 GMT on the 12th.We were in warm sector air before a cold front over the North Channel reached us. Wind and rain kept on all day, here gusting to 53 mph coinciding with torrential rain 16 mm/h (more intense in Llanfairfechan, Gorwel Heights 51 mm/h and Gorddinog 84 mm/h) 1520-1536 GMT as the cold front arrived. The temperature that had reached 10.6C at 1602 GMT fell with the barometer bottoming out at 1011 mb and wind speed moderating. There was another spell of moderate to heavy (29 mm/h 2213 GMT) rain here from 20 GMT to midnight. Rainfall in the 24h from 0900 GMT was 32.5 mm. Wales seemed to have the some of the best and worst of the weather today [Hawarden 13.9C Gorwel Heights 13.1C Min Tredegar 5.0C Capel Curig 62.6 mm Shap 43.2 mm Llansadwrn 32.5 mm Sennybridge 32.2 mm Lake Vyrnwy 21.0 mm Mona 17.8 mm Aberdaron 10.0 mm Valley 9.6 mm Rhyl 6.6 mm Hawarden 2.2 mm Sunless day] [Max 10.6C Min 3.4C Rain 32.5 mm].

The weather was quieter after midnight on the 12th and by morning the sky was starting to clear. The wind had dropped to force 3 and visibility was good with the cloud lifting. The ground was very wet indeed with pools of water here and there including on fields and farm gateways. Pressure was 1014 mb; and still high 1036 Iberia while complex low 958 mb was near Iceland. Brighter weather with some sunny spells developed by 1030 GMT with 2.4h of sunshine at RAF Valley. We were not out bad weather yet, a potentially damaging depression was developing rapidly 994 mb S Greenland and named Storm Brendan by the Irish Met Service (Met Éireann) who expected it to reach W of Ireland tomorrow, had deepened to 952 mb by midnight (Hurn 12.4C Aboyne -4.2C Cardiff 19.2 mm Katesbridge 5.6h) [Max 7.7C Min 5.5C Rain 0.3 mm]. Tweet about Storm Brendan.The 13th dawned with a S'ly force 5/6 wind and pressure 1002 mb dropping rapidly. Storm Brendan was deepening 948 mb W Northern Ireland at 0900 GMT then tracking N was 941 mb W of Scotland at 1800 GMT. South-west Ireland bore the brunt of the storm; Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour recorded a gust of 84 mph. The wind strengthened here during the morning average gust speed from 1230 GMT to 1540 GMT was 43 mph, there were spots of rain from 1300 GMT. Between 1520 and 1550 GMT things got lively as the line front past over with heavy rain and ice pellets (falling at a rate up to 54 mm/h) blowing on the strong wind, highest gust 53 mph before moderating quickly. The hail covering the ground and greenhouse glass. Gorddinog reported a peak gust of 57 mph, Gorwel Heights 59 mph, Valley 65 mph, Mona 66 mph, Capel Curig/ Mumbles Head 80 mph (Egham,Surrey 11.7C Topcliffe 0.2C Achnagart 27.2 mm Libanus 22.0 mm Shoeburyness 3.6h Hawarden 0.2h) [Max 9.3C Min 4.1C Pptn 14.2 mm].

The 14th the sky was overcast uniformly grey with moderate visibility, there was a lighter SW'ly breeze. With saturated soil the rain had pooled and roadsides were awash. Pressure 989 mb was falling with complex low 940 mb SE Iceland with another low developed off Brest was 981 mb Fastnet at noon and moved rapidly to be 979 mb over the North Sea off Hull at 1800 GMT. A cold day sunless day with light showery rain and drizzle throughout (Weybourne 14.6C Low Max Dalwhinnie 2.0C Mona 7.4C Min Dalwhinnie -0.1C Libanus 42.4 mm Kirkwall 4.7h Valley 0.0h) [Max 6.9C Min 4.2C Rain 17.2 mm]. An improvement on the 15th the sky clearing rapidly by morning. Windy in the west with gusts of 49 mph at Aberdaron and 62 mph at Malin Head during the morning. Pressure 998 mb was rising quickly as low 954 Iceland continued to fill. An occluded front lay to the NW over N Ireland and Scotland; a frontal band of cloud was over the English Channel clearing SE'wards. Between the two a welcome 6.1h of sunshine (Valley), most in the UK (Bournemouth 11.0C Dalwhinnie 0.3C Achnagart 45.2 mm Valley 6.1h) [Max 9.0C Min 4.8C Rain 0.4 mm].

The first 15-days of January 2019 were unusually dry with just 7.5 mm of rainfall . Not so this year with rainfall of 101.3 mm (102%) & [99%] of averages. Temperatures both years were similar and on the mild side. This year the mean was 6.6C [+1.5], last year 6.4C [+1.3] of average.

The morning of the 16th began fine and bright with just 4 oktas cloud cover. Visibility was very good an a little patch snow could be seen on Snowdon. Pressure 1007 mb was falling with a low 980 mb W of Ireland, there was a moderate to fresh SSE'ly breeze and cumulus clouds were towering over the mountains. Frontal cloud soon encroached off the Irish Sea and in warm air the temperature rose to 11.6C. Light rain began by noon and turned heavy at 1553 GMT and ceased by evening, returning before midnight. There was a burst of very heavy rain at 0446 GMT that fell at a rate up to 70 mm/h. Rainfall for the 24h [09-09 GMT] was 14.2 mm over 14 hours duration (Bude 13.1C Drumnadrochit 1.1C Tyndrum 26.8 mm Manston 2.7h Hawarden 0.1h) [Max 11.6C Min 5.0C Rain 24.2 mm] [Capel Curig 23.0 mm Mona 11.8 mm Valley 6.2 mm]. The 17th was a colder day with fresh snow on the mountains above 1800 ft and as a result Moel Eilio was doing its imitation of Mt. Fuji. A fall of snow pellets had been recorded by the hailometer. Pressure 1008 mb was rising again with yesterday's low 973 mb N of Scotland. The long cold front was lying over the North Sea, through France, Spain and S Portugal. Fine, but a bit dull with a cool WSW'ly breeze at first, sunny later (Santon Downham 10.6C Katesbridge -2.4C Achnagart 21.0 mm Swyddffynnon 16.0 mm Kinloss 5.5h Aberdaron 5.4h) [Max 7.5C Min 3.4C Pptn 0.5 mm].

Llansadwrn view towards Gadlys and the mountains on a sunny afternoon.

A fine frosty morning on the 18th with an extensive white frost on fields, grass minimum -4.5C and slight air frost -0.2C. Slight hoar frost with rime on the rim of the copper raingauge, there was ice on water, but the grassy ground was soft. It was calm with smoke rising vertically and there was low level mist and fog in the Menai Strait. Becoming rare these days a proper January morning with some sunshine later. Pressure 1028 mb was rising in a ridge from SE Europe, sunny most places except coastal mist and fog patches S coast of England (Scilly 9.3C Katesbridge -5.5C Bala -2.6C Altnaharra 9.0 mm East Malling 7.5h Valley 4.6h) [Max 7.1C Min -0.2C Grass -4.5C]. Another January morning on the 19th overnight the air minimum 0.7C and -4.0C on the grass the soil surface was frozen hard. Air frosts have become rarer, but we still get a fair number of ground frosts. Hoar on low vegetation and rime on raingauge. Most clear sky with very light SSE'ly air indicated by smoke drift, anemometer not turning. Pressure 1046 mb was rising with intense high 1044 mb Dublin. Very good visibility with inversion fog in the Menai Strait and a little mist at low levels, the snowline was 2500 ft on the Snowdonia Mountains. Fine and sunny (Stornoway 9.8C Lo Max Wellesbourne 1.5C Lo Min Topcliffe -6.8C Sennybridge -4.9C Lerwick 4.2 mm East Malling 8.1h Valley 4.2h) [Max 8.3C Min 0.7C Grass -4.0C Pptn nil]. The 20th began cloudier with 5 oktas cover at 0900 GMT, but it was decreasing. Not so cold overnight the air minimum 2.2C and -0.9C on the grass, but there was no frost left on the vegetation. Pressure was a high 1048.7 mb with 1049 mb centred on the Severn estuary and Sennybridge on a record 1050 mb. A sunny day (Altnaharra 12.3C Lo Max Llysdinam 3.0C Lo Min Yeovilton -4.8C Kinlochewe 2.6 mm Shobdon 7.6h Hawarden 7.1h Valley 6.1h) [Max 9.0C Min 2.2C Grass -0.9C Pptn trace].

A dusting of snow on Carnedd Llywelyn.

After three cold and frosty January days the 21st was a bit unusual. Pressure was on 1043 mb the centre moved to be off SW Ireland 1045 mb, intense high 1051 mb SE Europe, Verona. Moderate fog code 3 at 0900 GMT (fog code 2 is quite rare here, none last year). Sky overcast with drizzle persisted most of the day. Sea fog was general at noon N of Aberystwyth, Cardigan Bay, Irish Sea Isle of Man. Fog (hill) became thick code 1 at 16 GMT, less was reported in Llanfairfechan, but had cleared here by 2200 GMT (Aboyne 12.9C Benson -5.3C Resallach 13.0 mm Porthmadog 0.8 mm East Malling 8.4h St Athan 5.4h Valley nil]) [Max 7.6C Min 3.2C Grass -1.0C Rain 0.6 mm]. Unusual today to have fog code 2 on the 22nd at 0900 GMT with the sky obscured, it had been thicker after dawn; the Snowdonia mountaintops were in the clear. Pressure was on 1040 mb with high 1041 mb just off SW Ireland. The setting sun in fog at Gadlys. The jetstream was keeping well to the N around the high-pressure. The AWS temperature was 7.6C (dewpoint 7.0C) 96% RH; the dry and wet thermometers in the Stevenson screen read 7.6C, 100% RH. Soon it was a little brighter with some blue sky with some small cumulus clouds were visible overhead and later a foggy sun. Fog was dense in the Menai Strait between the bridges at 11 GMT. Fog began to decrease around noon, but returned later in the afternoon. The 14.5C maximum temperature at Aboyne today was just short of the 15.0C record at Llandudno for this day in 1960 (TORRO) (Aboyne 14.5C Lo Max Wych Cross 5.2C Lo Min Bournemouth -3.9C Resallach 8.0 mm Gogerddan 1.6 mm Morpeth Cockle Park 5.9h Valley 0.8h) [Max 9.6C Min 6.2C Pptn trace fog]. Another foggy day on the 23rd starting under mostly clear sky (3/8) with the sun rising above the mountains at 0843 GMT I recorded moderate low level fog increasing at 0900 GMT. The temperature was 5.1C (dewpoint 4.5C) 96% RH, the grass minimum thermometer was reading 0.0C, it was calm or variable light airs. Heavy dew and fog deposition, fine with weak sunshine in the fog. Mist or fog was reported in most places except NE Scotland where it was sunny. By 1030 GMT the fog had increased and was thick code 1 and by noon it was dense code 0 (Ravensworth 11.7C Topcliffe -1.7C Resallach 12.0 mm Lake Vyrnwy 0.6 mm Sheffield 6.2h Hawarden 4.4h) [Max 7.0C Min 4.6C Grass 0.0C Pptn 1.4 mm]. This pink Azalea has been in flower in the garden for a while.That's very unusual the fog was still with us on the 24th and it was dense code 0 at 0900 GMT with the sky obscured so that got a 9 in the cloud cover record. The temperature was 6.1C (dewpoint 5.6C) 97% RH, a light SW'ly breeze this morning and there was a fine drizzle too. A jet from RAF Valley passed over, could not see it, it was not foggy at Valley (METAR accessed EGOV 240920Z 29004KT 9999 FEW007 BKN013 OVC019 07/06 Q1023 TEMPO BKN019 RMK GRN TEMPO WHT). Mist had been reported all night and no fog since yesterday afternoon The low cloud fog persisted all morning, lifted a little by 1330 GMT with slight rain and drizzle and was then variable moderate to dense fog till evening. Pressure at 0900 GMT was 1024 mb with high 1025 mb over the Celtic Sea, there was a frontal cloud band was over the North Channel (Bridlington 11.4C Sennybridge -1.0C St Bees Head 3.8 mm Leconfield 5.9h Bala 1.0h Valley nil) [Max 6.7C Min 5.7C Rain 0.8 mm].

Enough of the fog and the 25th did not disappoint, moderate (misty) visibility, fine with a cool breeze despite being S'ly. At 0900 GMT pressure was on 1017 mb with low 968 mb SW Iceland. A trace deposit of mixed coloured dust was observed. There was a cold front lying to the NW of Malin Head. Temperature 5.8C (dewpoint 4.4C) 91% RH. Somewhat breezy around noon and there was slight rain at times. Another sunless day (Scilly 10.9C Valley 8.4C Leeming -0.5C Eskdalemuir 4.2 mm Whitechurch 1.6 mm Aberdeen 1.6h Valley nil) [Max 8.6C Min 5.6C Rain 1.8 mm]. The 26th was another dull sunless day. Starting with a blustery strong SSW'ly wind whipping up the waves around the coast. Pressure 1002 mb was falling quickly with low pressure 956 mb Greenland/ Iceland region and a cold front over the Irish Sea. The west was wet again while it was sunny in central England. The temperature here was 8.4C and struggled to 8,8C at 1026 GMT. Gorwel Heights had seen 10.1C at 0800 and Gorddinog 10.2 at 0930 GMT all maxima for the day. Thereafter the temperature dropped reaching a minimum 2.6C at 1845 GMT for 2 hours with a touch of ground frost before rising again. The soil was saturated, soggy and muddy. Showers developed before midnight with a heavy one at 2320 GMT with small hail (Exeter 10.9C Rhyl 10.0C Fyvie Castle 2.9C Achnagart 26.6 mm Whitechurch 14.0 mm Weybourne 3.0h Aberdaron 0.7h) [Max 8.4C Min 2.6C Grass -1.5C Rain 6.2 mm]. Showers after midnight, some with small hail 0058 GMT, interspersed with clear spells with bright stars shining. By the morning of the 27th the sky was mostly cloudy. At 0900 GMT pressure 997 mb was falling with a large complex low 960 mb SW Iceland encompassing the UK and the Bay of Biscay. Pressure was high 1027 mb over the Canary Islands. The snowline with 50% cover, or more, on the mountains was at 2750 ft with some (30% cover) as low as 2500 ft. Bright at times with a little sunshine and some spots of rain. Shower of snow pellets about 18 GMT (Scilly 10.2C Milford Haven 9.2C Aboyne -3.6C Tredegar 22.8 mm Morpeth Cockle Park 6.9h Hawarden 2.8h) [Max 7.2C Min 2.6C Grass -1.5C Rain 5.2 mm].

This pink flowering heather Erica ssp has been flowering in the garden since Christmas 2019.

Wintry showers overnight including both snow and ice pellets with some still remaining on the grass on the morning of the 28th. A fine morning with weak sunshine as the sun rose over the mountaintops. A light fall of snow had settled as low as 450 ft on the lower slopes of the Carneddau, but mostly above 1000 ft. Pressure 992 mb was rising, there was a cool SW'ly breeze, the air circulating from Polar Regions, the Denmark Strait and Norway, the result of a low 971 mb S Iceland and W Scotland. The temperature was 3.7C (dewpoint 1.8C) 87% RH. The western fringes had showers the result of packed marine convection to the north-west with frequent cumulonimbus, there was lightning recorded over Cumbria and NWS Ireland. Central England and the SE was mostly sunny (Scilly 8.8C Loch Glascarnoch -6.6C Dunstaffnage 20.6 mm Cardiff 11.0 mm East Malling 6.4h Hawarden 3.3h Valley 1.4h) [Max 5.8C Min 1.1C Grass -2.6C Pptn 0.8 mm]. Remnants of snow seen on Snowdon in the afternoon. A fine morning on the 29th with snow on the mountaintops of Snowdonia. Pressure was on 1007 mb and there was a moderate SW'ly breeze picking up giving a significant 4-degree wind chill at noon. Glimpses of sunshine then thicker cloud brought slight drizzle in the afternoon from 1500 GMT when it began to turn milder (Scilly 11.4C Fyvie Castle -3.2C Tulloch Bridge 41.6 mm Sennybridge 4.2 mm East Malling 7.2h St Athan 5.7h Valley 0.3h) [Max 9.1C Min 3.5C Grass -0.5C Rain 0.1 mm]. This dwarf white Rhododendron has recently started to flower in the garden.A mild, but breezy morning on the 30th with no overnight frost on the ground. The temperature at 0900 GMT was 9.0C rising from a minimum of 5.3C and was to reach 10.6C at 1126 GMT. Pressure 999 mb was falling with a low 972 mb off the Western Isles of Scotland, Tiree had had a gust of 46 mph. Another low mid-Atlantic 964 mb S of Greenland was heading our way helped along by the jetstream. It was bright with some sunshine in Conwy and brighter here mid-morning as the wind strengthening, mist and rain was prevalent in the NW and SW of Britain. At 1343 GMT the temperature had risen to 14.3C in Llanfairfechan at Gorwel Heights. This was a long way off the daily record of 17.2C recorded at Aber in 1929 (TORRO), but there for the breaking in view of the 17.4C recorded on the 7th of the month. Hill fog returned between 17 and 19 GMT (Exeter 14.4C Hawarden 13.8C Lo Max Baltasound 7.4C Lo Min Baltasound 0.4C Achnagart 36.4 mm Capel Curig 5.2 mm Thomastown 2.3h Hawarden 1.4h) [Max 10.6C Min 5.3C Rain 4.0 mm]. On the last day of the month the 31st, and sad final day the UK was a member of the European Union after 47-years, there were a few small snow patches and remnant cornices remaining on the highest mountain cliffs despite the mild temperatures. At 0900 GMT it was 9.4C after an air minimum of 6.4C and was to rise to 10.7C at 1321 GMT. The temperature at Gorwel heights had been 13.9C at 0620 GMT. With just a small amount of rain overnight there was standing water around and with near horizontal rain blowing across the fields on a force 6 SW'ly the observer got quite wet (Hawarden 14.2C Lo Max Baltasound 6.9C Lo Min Lentran 1.9C Achnagart 35.2 mm Capel Curig 25.2 mm Aberdeen 2.5h Hawarden 0.3C Valley nil) [Max 10.7C Min 6.4C Rain 7.2C].

The month ended with a total of 154.2 mm of rainfall [151%] of average largest since 2016, one of the 13th wettest in Llansadwrn since 1928. It had been mild the mean temperature 6.4C highest since 2016 and the 8th warmest in my records since 1979. A rather dull month, nearly half the number of days in the month were sunless.

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February 2020

February 1 - a fine breezy morning with the cloud beginning to clear after yesterday's rain and some sunshine developing, visibility was poor in haze. Pressure 998 mb was rising with low 959 mb Norwegian Sea extending a trough to N Scotland. High 1030 North Africa had a weak ridge to the south-west. The W had showers while central England, the E and SE were mostly sunny. The sky turned cloudier around noon and there was a little slight rain and drizzle at times in the afternoon (Charlwood 13.9C Baltasound 3.1C Kinlochewe 38.4 mm Capel Curig 9.4 mm Hawarden 6.6h) [Max 8.9C Min 7.2C Rain 5.4 mm]. The 2nd began dull and damp after some overnight rain. Dark-tailed red squirrel a regular visitor to the feeder.Cloud was hanging as low as 1500 ft on the north-facing slopes of the Snowdonia Mountains. Pressure 1002 mb was rising slowly as a low 979 mb W of Ireland tracking NNE, there was an occluded front over the Irish Sea. Bands of rain were affecting central Scotland and the SW Approaches. Breezy around the coast with Aberporth reporting gusts of 40 mph. The morning was fine, but the afternoon had a very fine drizzle at times under thick cloud (Charlwood 13.9C Aboyne -6.5C Lake Vyrnwy 28.6 mm Lerwick 4.8h) [Max 9.9C Min 5.3C Rain trace]. A fine, but again dull morning on the 3rd with rain showers in sight affecting the western end of the Snowdonia Mountain range. Soon some fine spots were felt on the force 3 WSW'ly. Pressure 1013 mb was rising with a low 978 mb between Iceland and Scotland being influenced by a high 1024 mb W FitzRoy. A frontal system was moving SE across the Irish Sea bringing showers to the western fringe was yet to reach E England that was sunny. Marine convection was packed the NW behind the front. Glimpses of sunshine with the showers arriving bringing rain and small hail (ice pellets) around 11 GMT and similar later in the afternoon around 14 GMT. Slight snow was seen settled on the mountains above 1750 ft, but disappeared later leaving some older surviving snow patches (Heathrow 12.0C Aboyne -1.8C Achnagart 29.0 mm Lake Vyrnwy 14.4 mm Morpeth Cockle Park 7.2h Valley 1.4h) [Max 7.5C 5.6C Rain 0.6 mm]. Overcast sky once more, but today the 4th a gentle NW'ly. The cloud was fairly thin with some layering few clouds at low, scattered at moderate altitude, overcast above. Pressure 1023 mb was rising with high W of Brest expected to move NE towards the SW Approaches while low 995 was over the N North Sea. Western areas had showery rain especially over the mountains, otherwise dry with brief sunny spells was the order of the day (Carlisle 11.8C Dalwhinnie -0.4C Kinlochewe 10.4 mm Capel Curig 3.7 mm 6.5h Aberdaron 4.7h) [Max 8.4C Min 3.9C Grass -0.1C Rain trace]. Fairly cool overnight with an air minimum of 2.3C and a touch of ground frost (-0.9C). At 0900 GMT on the 5th the 7/8th cloud cover was allowing a little weak sunshine at times. Quite misty, or was it hazy, with only an outline of the mountains visible, technically as the RH was 94% it was haze and not mist. Pressure 1039 mb was continuing to rise with a high situated over the Severn Estuary near Swansea. Sunny spells had come along by 11 GMT, some fog lingered in England from the Thames to Merseyside (Chivenor 11.3C Cardiff 11.2C Aboyne -4.6C Dunstaffnage 2.8 mm Shoeburyness 6.8h St Athan 5.3h Valley 1.7h) [Max 8.9C Min 2.3C Grass -0.9C Pptn trace].

Hardly a cloud in the sky so it was a sunny morning on the 6th with pressure steady on 1032 mb. Pressure was high Europe centre near Verona 1040 mb. Out in the wings were low 991 mb Greenland deepening 975 mb and low 972 mb W of Ireland. There was silver frost on the grass and visibility was good; Snowdon had a light covering of snow/ ice on its NE flank and summit. There was just an air from the SW and soon the temperature was rising from a minimum of 1.3C to 9.8C at 13 GMT. On the sheltered rockery bank a buzzing was heard in the afternoon as several bees, the first of the season, were feeding on masses pink flowering heather (Erica). Valley reported 8.3h of sunshine. Mist and fog lingered in many parts of S Wales and central England (Aboyne 11.6C Gogerddan 10.4C Topcliffe -4.9C Lerwick 2.0 mm East Malling 9.2h) [Max 9.8C Min 1.3C Grass -2.9C Pptn nil]. The Foehn-enhanced temperature brought out the first bees of the year spotted on flowering heathers.The 7th proved to be an interesting day with rare low relative humidity values recorded both here and in Llanfairfechan. Cold dry air had descended and at Gorwel heights at 0623 GMT 15% RH with a low dewpoint of -15.6C at 0558 GMT was recorded. In Llansadwrn I recorded a low 30% RH and -11.7C dewpoint at 0706 GMT and David Lee 27% RH at 1012 GMT at Gorddinog. It was noticeable that surface leaf litter in the woods was dry. In a light SSE'ly the temperature here rose from a minimum of 0.4C to a Föhn-enhanced 11.4C at 13 GMT, 12.4C at Gorddinog AWS at 1340 GMT, but at Gorwel Heights it rose to 13.1C at 1310 GMT highest on this day. The UK highest recorded is 16.8C in Durham in 1993 (TORRO). Soil moisture determined today in Llansadwrn was 53.7% dry mass, lower that its 70% saturation point. Rain came along in the evening (Bridgefoot 12.2C Lo Max Dalwhinnie 4.3C Lo Min Aboyne -6.6C Machrihanish 2.8 mm Shap 7.4h Bala 3.3h Valley 3.0h) [Max 11.4C Min 0.4C Rain 2.9 mm]. Although there were some clear spells overnight the air minimum on the morning of the 8th was 4.5C and there had been no ground frost. At 0900 GMT the sky was turning cloudier and the SSW'ly was a blustery force 5. The Met Office had been issuing yellow warnings for wind and rain for some days about Storm Ciara that was on its way. Preparations for the likely closure of the Britannia Bridge at some point took place during the day. It began to rain during the afternoon and turned moderate to heavy, the wind strong to gale force from 15 GMT. A gust of 46 mph was recorded at 2020 GMT. At Gorwel Heights a gust of 85 mph was recorded at 2320 GMT, several properties received minor damage including removal of tiles/ slates. Capel Curig had a gust of 86 mph (Cardiff 12.1C Dalwhinnie 0.6C Tyndrum 39.0 mm Capel Curig 8.0 [75.0] mm Kinloss 6.8h St Athan 5.2h) [Max 11.1C Min 4.5C Rain 55.3 mm]. Heavy rainfall in Cumbria and N Wales on the 8 February  2020.The rain eased a little after midnight on the 9th, but not the wind. Just before 06 GMT as the wind strengthened again gusting to 57 mph and there was a torrential downpour of ice pellets and rain of 60 mm/h at 0625 GMT. At 0632 GMT thunder was heard and the electricity supply momentarily failed. Sferics were recorded over much of North Wales at the time Sferics at 0732z on 9 Feb 2020. Courtesy of . At Gorwel Heights a gust of 62 mph was recorded at 0730 GMT. Storm Ciara closes Llansadwrn road with fallen tree and BT cable.A 57 mph gust of wind was recorded here at 0826 GMT. The wind brought down a tree across the road between Gadlys and the Church and with it the BT cable supplying phones and internet to six properties. This occurred just beyond the pole supplying the weather station house whose communications held. Conditions at 0900 GMT were atrocious in wind and rain. Pressure 976 mb was falling quickly and the temperature in the warm moist air was 11.1C, rainfall for the 24-h ending 09 GMT was [55.3 mm] largest of the month. It was also the 9th largest daily fall in any month in records at this station. Apart from a 69.1 mm in 1981 all are in in the 21st century, a clear indication of a changing climate. Capel Curig reported [75.0 mm] and Shap Fell in Cumbria 88.0 mm. The Britannia Bridge was closed for a while and a landslide closed the A5 at Llyn Ogwen. At 10 GMT wind turbines were supplying 43% of the UK electricity demand. During the afternoon wind started to moderate and rain gave way to showers with glimpses of sunshine. There was flooding in the Conwy Valley and Llanwrst, the railway line to Ffestiniog was affected and closed. The wind was picking up again before midnight. The run of wind 00-00z in Llansadwrn today was 450 miles and at Gorwel Heights 305 miles (Donna Nook 14.8C Hawarden 14.6C Tulloch Bridge 0.0C Capel Curig 122.6 mm Leuchars 4.7h Valley 2.1h) [Max 11.4C Min 5.9C Rain 7.8 mm] [Capel Curig 54.4 mm Bala 34.2 mm Rhyl 26.6 mm].

Wild wallflower flowering in the garden today. The 10th began fine, bright and blustery the WSW'ly force 6 and strengthening convective clouds building. Strong gusts over the mountains with Capel Curig reporting 64 mph. Sunny spells gave way to some weak sunshine as cloud developed. Pressure 994 mb had risen with low 943 mb Iceland. Ciara had moved over to Norway while pressure remained high 1036 mb Tunisia and 1035 mb E Mediterranean. Glimpses of sunshine around noon then it turned showery and at 1520 GMT we had a shower of snow pellets and small flaked snow. The native wallflower flowering today in the garden (right) is a bright golden yellow and survives on very little soil including the walls of Beaumaris Castle (Scilly 10.7C Lo Max Salsburgh 0.8C Lo Min Dalwhinnie -0.7C Millport 25.6 mm Bala 13.2 mm Aberdeen 7.2h) [Max 6.2C Min 3.6C Pptn 1.8 mm]. SKIRON Graphic courtesy of the University of Athens.On the 11th pressure 1003 mb was still rising with low-pressure to the N low 963 mb part of an Icelandic. Norwegian complex was N Scotland. The cold air upon us today was coming all the way across the Atlantic from the Canadian Arctic. It was breezy with cumulus clouds increasing we had been having snow pellet showers and some were lying on the ground. At 0900 GMT another shower of snow pellets the temperature 3.3C (dewpoint -0.2C) and 78% relative humidity. With some sunshine at times it was a blustery morning with a wind chill of -2C and poor visibility. Sferics were recorded to the N and S of here and near Dublin, but none near here (Shoreham 8.8C Altnahinch Filters -0.9C Cassley 30.8 mm Cardiff 3.2 mm East Malling 8.7h Aberdaron 6.7h Valley 4.4h) [Max 5.9C Min 2.2C Pptn 0.3 mm]. Tweet about winter flowering hellebores in the garden.There was a cold W'ly breeze on the morning of the 12th the airflow still from the Canadian Arctic. There had been slight shower(s) of snow pellets since midnight, but there was none on the ground. Pressure 1013 mb was rising with a high 1028 mb over the Charente Maritime, France, Atlantic-low 985 mb was W of the Scilly Islands. Most of southern Britain was sunny with cumulonimbus clouds and with the threat of showers W & NW Ireland and Scotland. Bright at first with snow seen on the Snowdonia Mountains as low as 1750 ft in places including Moel Eilio. Cloudy in the late afternoon with some fine drizzle (Scilly 9.7C Killylane -1.1C Cassley 39.2 mm Tredegar 4.2 mm Wattisham 8.3h Hawarden 6.7h Valley 6.3h) [Max 7.4C Min 2.1C Grass -2.0C Pptn 3.0 mm]. Breezy overnight and showery rain early on the 13th and moderate shower at 0900 GMT with puddles forming on the water saturated ground. Pressure 987 mb had fallen the result of low 983 mb N Ireland, but named Storm Dennis S of Greenland was undergoing rapid cyclogenesis 952 mb. Gales were occurring SW Cornwall and Scilly Islands with a gust of 64 mph experienced at Cardinham. The wind here had moderated, rainfall amounts were large in Llanfairfechan and over the Snowdonia Mountains (xx Cardiff 10.6C xx Tredegar 1.8C xx Libanus 30.2 mm xx St Athan 3.7h) [Max 8.2C Min 2.8C Grass -1.3C Rain 0.4].

The effects of Storm Dennis began to arrive on the 14th with pressure 1008 mb falling rapidly at 0900 GMT. Dennis was 933 mb SW Iceland and expected to deepen to about 922 mb making it one of the deepest over the North Atlantic in 30-years. The SSW'ly wind was blowing force 7/8 on the exposed side of the Llansadwrn ridge, Capel Curig had reported a gust of 66 mph. A little brightness at first, a glimpse of sunshine the weak sunshine as the cloud on a frontal system over the Irish Sea bringing a band of moderate to heavy rain and rising temperature. Rain ceased in the afternoon as the wind moderated, the temperature rose to 10.7C here and to 11.6C at Gorwel Heights in the warmer air (Murlough 12.7C Gorwel Heights 12.3C Rhyl 11.7C Loch Glascarnoch -9.1C Braemar 20.6 mm Capel Curig 14.2 mm East Malling 6.0h) [Max 10.7C Min 2.8C Grass -1.5C Rain 6.4 mm]. Tidal elevations at Llandudno courtesy of UK National Tide Guage Network accessed 20/02/20. The 15th was overcast and dull with rain at 0900 GMT. Pressure 996 mb was falling with the Dennis complex low system 931 mb W of Scotland. The temperature was 10.7C (dewpoint 9.1C) 90% RH, rising to 11.1C late afternoon, the SW'ly force 6 and moderate visibility. The temperature at Gorwel heights at 0840 GMT was 12.3C. The rain turned moderate to heavy (17 mm/h at 1118 GMT) through the morning, was lighter in the afternoon when pressure reached its lowest 982 mb at 1720 GMT, with a lull in the evening before returning again moderate to heavy before midnight. The low pressure system resulted in a surge on the high tide at Llandudno of about 0.8 m late afternoon contributing to flooding of the River Conwy (courtesy of the UK National Tide Gauge Network). There was flooding of homes and businesses in several parts of Wales, Conwy Valley and South Wales valleys (Wellesbourne 13.9C Kielder Castle -0.4C Shap Fell 63.2 mm Tredegar 59.0 mm Thomastown 0.6h) [Max 11.1C Min 6.7C Rain 28.6 mm].

Pressure associated with Storm Dennis S Iceland at midnight on the 16th was 923 mb and was falling again in Llansadwrn 982 mb reaching 981 mb at 03 GMT when the wind was gusting 45 mph. Tweet about Storm Dennis large hail. Photos courtesy of Gordon Perkins.At 0900 GMT it was 985 mb and rising and it had stopped raining.Run of wind 00-00z in Llansadwrn 12-18 february 2020. Rainfall in the past 24-h was 28.6 mm. Llyn Tegid at Bala had overflowed again and was covering the car park at the Visitor Centre. Strong winds again in the NW with South Uist reporting a gust of 70 mph at 10 GMT. The afternoon turned showery as a trough passed over North Wales producing some large hail up to 8-9 mm here, but at Gorwel Heights Gordon Perkins photographed hail stones of 2 cm diameter that fell covering the ground and the A55 near Llanfairfechan causing problems for passing traffic, and along the coast towards Queensferry where later there was heavy sleet. The surge on the high tides at Llandudno today were about 0.6 m (courtesy of the UK National Tide Gauge Network). The run of wind 00-00z in Llansadwrn today was 450 miles and at Gorwel Heights 302 miles(East Malling 13.0C Dalwhinnie -0.2C Tredegar 62.6 mm Aberdeen 6.7h) [Max 8.4C Min 6.1C Pptn 0.3 mm].Winter heliotrope in flower. It had been very windy overnight gusting 48 mph at 0114 GMT and in the morning of the 17th the sky had been clearing leaving a line of cumulus clouds over the mountaintops. At 0900 GMT pressure 1001 mb was rising but clouds were increasing, there was a moderate to strong SW'ly and the ground was drying. Visibility was poor in haze and there was some mostly weak sunshine at times in the morning becoming sunny in the afternoon spoiled by a shower of rain and small ice pellets at 1540 GMT. The winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) is in flower now. It has mauve-pink scented flowers (right) above a carpet of rounded leaves 20-30 cm high that persist until late autumn. Native to southern Europe naturalised in Britain where only male plants are found, spreads by rhizomes, is shade tolerant and can be invasive (Wisley 11.7C Dalwhinnie 1.0C Tyndrum 44.8 mm Usk 8.2 mm Aberdeen 8.8h Valley 5.7h) [Max 9.5C Min 5.3C Pptn 0.2 mm]. It was fair overnight with no precipitation, some clear spells with a grass minimum of -0.5C during the early evening. The morning of the 18th was fine and breezy with a moderato to strong SW'ly. Pressure 1014 mb was falling with low 971 mb (ex Dennis) mid Norwegian coast. Another low 979 mb was SE Iceland. Cloudier from 10 GMT with spits and spots of rain. More showery in the afternoon with 4-5 mm ice pellets at times (Heathrow 11.4C Dalwhinnie 0.2C Kinlochewe 24.8 mm Sennybridge 13.2 mm Aberdeen 6.4h) [Max 7.9 Min 4.1C Grass -0.5C Pptn 1.2 mm].

A dry night and overcast morning on the 19th and just starting to rain at 0900 GMT. Pressure 1018 mb was falling, there was an area of rain encroaching on a warm front from the Atlantic to the SW associated with low 957 mb S Iceland. The temperature in the warm moist tropical air rose through the day reaching 8.6C by 19 GMT. The day was sunless, continuous rain was light to moderate and, with little change in the air temperature, turned moderate to heavy before midnight (Scilly 11.1C Baltasound -1.8C Capel Curig 36.2 [62.2] mm Weybourne 5.8h) [Max 8.8C Min 5.0C Grass 3.1C Rain 42.0 mm]. New kid on the tree this winter coated red squirrel with very long ear tufts.After midnight on the 20th it was windy with gusts of 38 mph, the rain continued and was intermittently moderate to heavy. At 0700 GMT the temperature had risen to 8.8C as the cold front arrived the wind moderated. There was a burst of very heavy rain and ice pellets at 0849 GMT falling at a rate up to 44 mm/h. There was much standing water and runoff from fields with local roads awash. At 0900 GMT still raining heavily pressure 1002 mb was rising quickly. The morning soon cleared up and by afternoon it was sunny. A shower of rain and ice pellets fell at 1530 GMT then cleared to sunny again (Bridlington 12.2C Loch Glascarnoch 0.2C Shap 50.4 mm Capel Curig 49.8 mm Kinloss 5.0h Aberdaron 4.8h) [Max 8.1C Min 2.8C Grass -0.5C Pptn 2.6 mm]. The wind gradually strengthened overnight and by the morning of the 21st it was blowing half a gale with gusts of 42 mph. There were spots of rain of rain on the wind and serious rain began soon after 0900 GMT. Pressure 1015 mb was falling with complex Icelandic low 956 mb with associated triple point near the Western Isles of Scotland. We were in warm sector air the 8.1C temperature warmest of the last 24h. The Met Office issued a yellow rain warning for mountain areas of N Wales at 1050 GMT. Light rain through the morning turned moderate by the afternoon. Llyn Tegid at Bala had overflowed onto the car park at the visitor centre again. Windy day gusts of 56 mph at Aberdaron and 52 mph at Lake Vyrnwy. Wet sunless day in Snowdonia and Anglesey (Fyvie Castle 13.5C Dalwhinnie 0.2C Tyndrum 61.6 mm Capel Curig 53.8 mm Aberdeen 5.5h Valley 0.0h) [Max 9.7C Min 2.8C Grass -0.5C Rain 18.8 mm].

After a rough night with gale-force winds another wet winter's day on the 22nd beginning dull with the WSW'ly wind picking up again. Pressure 1012 mb was rising quickly with low 948 mb NW Norwegian Sea and a very long frontal system stretching from the Baltic across S Britain to just N of the Azores, over 1000 miles. There were two cold fronts passing over Anglesey, the first clearing just before 08 GMT, and the second at 1555 GMT with heavy rain and ice pellets (38 mm/h) that caused the sharpest fall in temperature of the day. Malltraeth Marsh was flooded and there were big waves around the coast on the high tide. Winds reached force 9 around coasts and headlands and gusted to 74 mph at Malin Head (Heathrow 14.3C Braemar -0.6C Lake Vyrnwy 47.4 [48.0] mm [Capel Curig 35.2 mm] Aberdeen 7.0h St Athan 2.7h Valley 0.4h) [Max 8.3C Min 6.5C Pptn 26.4 mm]. A foggy morning on the 23rd at 0900 GMT moderate fog was lifting and the mistle thrush was singing. The ground after 26.4 mm of rain was very soggy and muddy, but pressure 1012 mb was rising quickly with low 989 mb N Scotland, there was a ridge to the W and high-pressure 1035 mb FitzRoy and Spain. Again there was a long frontal system from Finland over S Britain out to the western Atlantic Ocean. Slight rain at 0950 GMT then the sunny breaking through thinning cloud by 1020 GMT and a few sunny spells in the afternoon. Busy in the garden restaking Cistus and other plants blown over in recent gales. The 16.0C recorded at East Malling today was being headlined by the BBC as the highest temperature of the year so far, but we know better as 16.9C was recorded at Gorddinog and 17.4C at Gorwel Heights in Llanfairfechan on the 7th January (East Malling 16.0C Fyvie Castle -1.4C Lake Vyrnwy 44.6 mm Leuchars 8.2h Valley x) [Max 9.4C Min 5.6C Rain 19.2 mm]. The 24th began overcast and after recent rain visibility was very poor with mist. The temperature at 0900 GMT was 9.1C (dewpoint 8,6C) and relative humidity 95%. Blustery too the SW'ly force 6 with gusts 42 mph. Pressure 1001 mb was falling quickly. Llyn Tegid at Bala was deeply flooding the car park and there were waves blown in on the strong wind. Wind moderated during the evening, dry until after midnight (Coningsby 14.1C Hawarden 13.6C Tredegar 8.7C Dalwhinnie -3.3C Capel Curig 54.2 mm Leeming 3.6h Aberdaron 3.1h Valley x) [Max 9.8C Min 3.3C Rain 0.9 mm].

Another overcast morning on the 25th after rain falling after midnight. Pressure 999 mb was still falling with low 979 mb over the North Sea. There were shower troughs bringing marine convection onto W and NW facing coasts. There was some cloud on the mountaintops, but snow could be seen at 2150 ft near the Black Ladders on the Carneddau Mountains. Bright at times with glimpses of sunshine and a shower of 5 mm snow pellets at 1550 GMT.Tweet about wettest February on record. The rainfall total for the month has reached 223.7 mm already exceeding the largest falls in February in Llansadwrn at Treffos 196.1 mm and Gadlys Cottage 189.1 mm stations in 1958 (Frittenden 10.4C Cardiff 8.8C Tredegar 4.5C Braemar -6.2C Rochdale 19.6 mm St Athan 10.8 mm Aberdeen 7.0h Hawarden 4.1h Valley x) [Max 7.1C Min 2.3C Rain 1.6 mm]. A fine and cold morning on the 26th with snow on the Snowdonia Mountains as low as 1000 ft in places. At 0900 GMT the temperature was 3.7C RH 89% and the sky 6 oktas was starting to clear. Pressure 1005 mb was rising quickly with lows 986 mb N of Scotland and 979 mb Baltic. High 1026 mb was over Morocco and we were in a NW'ly airflow from Arctic regions W of Greenland. There were showers off Liverpool Bay passing through the Cheshire Gap. Blackthorn had started flowering in a few places including at Morrisons Supermarket in Bangor. We did not know it, but this was to be our last visit to Bangor shopping, and indeed the mainland, across the Menai Suspension Bridge for some considerable time, due to the coronavirus #COVID-19 outbreak #StayingAtHome. A fine sunny and dry day (Cardiff 10.1C Lo Max Lake Vyrnwy 3.3C Dalwhinnie 1.6C Braemar -5.1C Tredegar -0.2C Leek 13.9 mm Capel Curig 11.0 mm Boulmer 9.3h St Athan 7.4h Valley x) [Max 7.7C Min 1.1C Grass -1.4C Pptn 0.7 mm]

A bright start on the 27th after some wintry showers (snow pellets) overnight with a clearing sky and a cool NNW'ly breeze, a bit chilly 2.9C, but nice to see the sunshine. Pressure 1003 mb was rising with low 987 mb over the English Channel bringing showers to Brittany, S England and Thanet. After 0900 GMT the sky did cloud over for a while before clearing again giving a fine mostly sunny day. Best in the west (Swanage 9.7C Valley 9.2C Lake Vyrnwy 4.8C, Drumnadrochit -4.0C Wych Cross 14.8 mm Morpeth CP 9.7h Valley 8.7h) [Max 8.0C Min 2.6C Grass -2.7C Pptn 1.2 mm]. Back to normal on the 28th with sky overcast, wet and cold. Pressure 998 mb was falling quickly and there was a light to moderate SSE'ly breeze. It was snowing on the Snowdonia Mountains with 'whiteout' on the lower slopes of the Carneddau below the Black Ladders. Storm Jorge MSLP at 1700 GMT on 29 Feb 2020. Courtesy of UQAM.It rained here moderately through the morning and the day was sunless. Further moderate to heavy rain in the evening and after midnight (Murlough 13.1C Hawarden 12.2C Lake Vyrnwy 8.6C, Tredegar -1.7C Benson -3.5C, Cardiff 50.6 mm Magilligan 1.9h Valley 0.0h ) [Max 10.2C Min 3.3C Grass -2.6C Rain 23.2 mm]. Being leap year we had an extra day, the 29th. A bright morning with very good visibility and 5 oktas of cumulus cloud cover, a moderate WSW'ly wind. Pressure was steady on 979 mb with a low 963 mb W of Malin Head and Storm Jorge 954 mb Western Isles at midnight tonight. Gales in the afternoon, cloudy, but not much in the way of precipitation. Gusts here of 49 mph at 1634 GMT and 52 mph at 1705 GMT. Mace Head reported a gust of 83 mph and Aberdaron 52 mph. There was a cold front over central England, Biscay and Iberia, sferics were observed over mid Wales. Wet in Scotland and South Wales, Llyn Tegid had overflowed again (Heathrow 9.8C Pembrey Sands 8.1C, Balmoral -1.0C Eskdalemuir 40.0 mm Tredegar 32.6 mm Camborne 6.2h Aberdaron 5.7h) [Max 6.9C Min 3.4C Grass -0.3C Pptn 0.2 mm].

The month ended with a record total rainfall of 250.6 mm (304%) & [319%] of average largest since before 1979 at this station and before 1928 in Llansadwrn. It had been mild generally the mean temperature 6.3C lowest since 2018, but 12th warmest in my records since 1979.

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March 2020


March 1 - a fine morning with a cold WSW'ly wind it had been bright with some glimpses of sunshine, but recently cloud had begun to increase. Pressure 983 mb was rising with lows 958 mb N Scotland and 993 mb Biscay. Pressure was high 1023 mb over Russia and we were in a showery Polar/ maritime airflow from the region of Greenland. There was some snow on the highest mountain summits in Snowdonia. Some weak sunshine and glimpses of bright sunshine in the afternoon, a slight shower of rain at 1545 GMT then a shower of 6 mm hail at 1628 GMT (Kew Gardens 11.1C Loch Glascarnoch -0.3C Kielder Castle 25.2 mm Manston 9.0h Aberdaron 8.8h) [Max 7.2C Min 3/4C Rain 1.4 mm). The sky was clear overnight at times and early on the 2nd with a moderate ground frost -5.0C, but soon began to cloud over at 0900 GMT 5 oktas cover and increasing soon weak sunshine at times. Pressure 988.6 mb was rising quickly and we were in a polar/ maritime airflow with packed marine convection to the north-west. There was a shower of small ice pellets at 0925 GMT. Mostly cloudy, but dry in the afternoon (St James Park 10.9C Cardiff 10.1C Coningsby -3.1C Kinlochewe 18.4 mm St Athan 9.0 mm Aberdaron 9.2h) [Max 7.1C Min 0.2C Grass -5.0C Rain 2.2 mm]. Rain light to moderate in the small hours of the 3rd with a heavy burst at 0212 GMT that included some ice pellets. At 0900 GMT the sky was brightening in a light W'ly breeze and it was sunny later. Snow showers on the mountains. A sunny afternoon and warm enough for bees to be on the flowering heather rockery banks, and nice enough for a cup of tea to be taken in a sheltered spot. Best in the west today (Cardiff 11.7C Shoreham -2.5C Loch Glascarnoch 11.2 mm Capel Curig 7.8 mm Aberdaron 9.1h) [10.6C Min 3.6C Grass -1.6C Rain trace]. A dull morning on the 4th with slight intermittent rain beginning, precipitation was of snow at 2000 ft on the Snowdonia Mountains where there was lying snow at 2500 ft. Pressure was steady on 1007 mb with a low 1000 mb near the Fastnet Rock, S Ireland, and an occluded front over the Celtic Sea. Low 974 was over the Denmark Strait with marine convection to the north-west of here. The rain did not come to much and the afternoon was cloudy, but dry. Able to do work outside , but no bees and no cup of tea [Max 7.6C Min 2.0C Grass -3.6C Rain 0.4 mm]. Another ground frost overnight -3.0C with slight frost remaining on the grass on the 5th at 0900 GMT. Pressure 1001 mb was steady with low 987 mb Brest, 991 mb W of Malin Head and 984 mb SW Iceland. We were benefiting from a minor ridge N Irish Sea with pressure high 1035 mb Azores. The air minimum had been down to 1.0C, so no air frost so far this month. Cloud cover at 6 oktas a few cumuli increasing, moderate hazy visibility. A fine morning with a light E'ly breeze and some weak sunshine and occasional glimpses, becoming sunny in the afternoon and nice enough for a cup of tea. Best in the west (Porthmadog 10.8C Katesbridge -5.9C Mona -0.5C Herstmonceux 36.2 mm Leeming 8.9h Aberdaron 8.6h) [Max 8.6C Min 1.0C Grass -3.0C Rain nil].

Sprinkling of snow on the Carneddau Mountains, Wales.

Another cold night with an indicated ground frost minimum -4.7C, but no sign of white frost on the grass on the morning of the 6th at 0900 GMT. The summit of Snowdon had a covering of snow and frost deposition and there was gully snow on several mountain cliffs.A covering of snow on Yr Wyddfa. No rain, but the ground was still soft underfoot. Pressure 1004 mb was rising with low 992 mb Malin Head and an occluded front N Channel and Anglesey. A fine morning mostly cloudy morning with a light SW'ly breeze and moderate visibility. Mostly cloudy with some slight rain or drizzle in the afternoon. Best weather in Cheshire and Merseyside (Nantwich 11.2C Altnaharra -7.3C Bala -3.7C Culdrose 7.4 mm Milford Haven 4.4 mm Morecambe 9.6h Hawarden 6.3h) [Max 10.0C Min 0.4C Grass -4.7C Rain 0.1 mm]. Dull and overcast on the 7th with fine misty drizzle. There had been slight snowfall on the mountains in the early hours. Pressure was on 1011 mb with low 967 mb SE Greenland and a warm front running along the spine of Britain. We had warm most air from tropical regions. It was an inside day today and watched the rugby match Wales narrowly losing to England which was to be the last match played for the season due to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. With strengthening SW'ly wind gusting to 41 mph there was a spell of moderate to heavy rain from 1930 GMT in the evening. Wet and warm in the north (Kinloss 13.9C Hawarden 14.4C Santon Downham -3.1C Achnagart 75.0 mm Capel Curig 8.0 mm Shoeburyness 3.9h Hawarden 1.5h) [Max 19.7C Min 3.5C Grass -1.8C Rain 10.6 mm]. Rain continued after midnight eased then a final heavy shower at 0334 GMT. At 0900 GMT on the 8th the sky had started to clear in a moderate to strong SW'ly. The rain was sufficient to make the ground soft and muddy again. Pressure 1000 mb was rising with low 973 SE Iceland while pressure was high 1029 mb over the Atlantic W of Gibraltar Strait. The jetstream was meandering S of Britain via the Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian Arctic. Shower troughs were in the vicinity and the day was mostly cloudy with sunny spells in one, at 1340 GMT, the temperature rose briefly to 10.3C. Otherwise in the wind it was pretty cold working in the garden, but I did sow some lettuce seeds in the greenhouse (Heathrow 14.3C Hawarden 11.8C Dalwhinnie 1.7C Capel Curig 35.4 mm Lyneham 7.1h) [Max 10.3C Min 6.3C Grass 2.8C Rain 0.4 mm]. On the 9th there was a little snow on the Snowdonia summits especially Snowdon. Just a touch of ground frost overnight with the sky turning cloudier at 0900 GMT. Pressure was on 1012 mb with a minor ridge over the Irish Sea declining as a low 973 S of Greenland began to move in from the west. It was a dull day with a glimpse of sunshine in the morning and a cloudy wet afternoon from 13 GMT moderate then heavy till 18 GMT (Murlough 12.3C Hawarden 11.6C Aboyne -3.1C Derrylin Cornahoule 27.6 mm Lake Vyrnwy 25.0 mm Kirkwall 6.5h) [Max 9.9C Min 4.8C Grass -0.4C Rain 13.8 mm]. A similar dull and breezy day on the 10th, mild overnight the air minimum 5.6C and no ground frost. Moderate (low cloud) fog at 0900 GMT, the temperature 9.4C and 95% RH. A blustery morning with gusts of 35 mph here, 54 mph at Lake Vyrnwy and 48 at Capel Curig. The jet stream was set up over the UK with low 966 mb SW Iceland and cold fronts over the Irish Sea. The temperature rose to 11.0C at 1514 GMT the fell fairly quickly, but it kept dry. Wet in South Wales (Monks Wood 16.5C Usk 14.0C Aboyne -0.9C Sennybridge 26.0 mm Dyce 5.8h) [Max 11.0C Min 5.6C Grass 4.8C Rain 0.2 mm]

A fine and bright, but blustery morning on the 11th after a windy night. Winds were strong in the N and gusting 54 mph in Scotland. It was sunny in the E and East Anglia. Pressure was on 1006 mb with low 959 mb Greenland and a low-pressure area Iceland and N Scotland 972 mb. An occlusion was over the Irish Sea we had showery rain in the morning (10.2 mm/h at 1121 GMT), a mostly cloudy afternoon with the wind strengthening and heavy showers again in the evening (19.6 mm/h at 1940 GMT). The sky cleared later and overnight with the moon visible (Heathrow 15.4C Cardiff 13.9C Aberdeen -0.9C Shap 23.2 mm Capel Curig 12.4 mm Aberdeen 8.5h Aberdaron 4.3h) [Max 9.7C Min 4.7C Grass -1.4C Rain 3.2 mm]. A fine morning on the 12th becoming breezy again. Overnight an air minimum of 2.8C and -2.1C on the grass. Winds were strong in the west with 60 mph seen at Belmullet Head, Ireland, and there had been heavy snow in Tulloch Bridge, Scotland. We had a polar/ maritime air flow today with pressure on 1005 mb there was a low 979 mb near the Western isles with an occlusion near Malin Head. Bright, dry and windy morning and noon turning showery with sunny spells in the afternoon. There was a shower of rain and ice pellets at 1919 GMT (Coningsby 12.0C Dalwhinnie -1.5C Tulloch Bridge 29.4 mm Lake Vyrnwy 7.6 mm Shoeburyness 9.7h Hawarden 7.5h) [Max 8.7C Min 2.8C Grass -2.1C Rain 2.0 mm]. A mostly cloudy morning on the 13th with slight showers before 0900 GMT. It was not so breezy with a light W'ly, moderate visibility and the temperature 6.9C. Pressure 1017 mb was rising with Atlantic-low 1003 mb W of Shannon and an occlusion over the Irish sea. Mostly dull and grey with a little sunshine and light showers of rain in the afternoon not heavy enough to stop work in the garden (Pershore College 13.4C Cardiff 13.0C Katesbridge -2.4C Camborne 11.0 mm Scolton 8.6 mm Loch Glascarnoch 8.6h Aberdaron 4.7h) [Max 9.1C Min 4.1C Grass 0.1C Rain 2.0 mm]. Much the same on the 14th, a little warmer 8.1C at 0900 GMT and mostly cloudy. Recent light showers of rain and poor visibility and another shower at 0930 GMT. Pressure was on 1010 mb with lows 992 mb S Iceland and W of Shannon with an occlusion over the Irish Sea (sound familiar?). The odd glimpse of sunshine (643 W m -2 1139 GMT) otherwise dull with intermittent rain and heavy rain later (16 mm/h at 1957 GMT). Wet in Snowdonia (Northolt 13.9C Kinlochewe -1.2C Capel Curig 23.2 mm Altnaharra 3.2h Valley 2.2h() [Max 10.5C Min 3.7C Grass -1.3C Rain 13.2 mm]. The band of rain overnight was heavy between 0300 and 0330 GMT had passed over and was over SW England, the Midlands and the Wash. A very dull and damp morning on the 15th the ground after 13.2 mm of rain very soggy underfoot. Overcast and cold in the strong SW'ly wind, moderate visibility. Pressure 1002 mb was rising and the cloud thinning at times allowed a little weak sunshine in the morning and glimpses of sunshine in the dry afternoon. Wet in Snowdonia again (Gosport 13.0C Cassley 1.1C Capel Curig 38.0 mm Thomastown 6.9h Valley 5.4h) [Max 11.0C Min 6.5C Grass 4.4C Pptn trace].

The first 15-days of the month had rainfall of 49.9 mm (60%) & [58%] of averages. Temperatures were on the cool side with the mean 6.5C (-0.3) & [-0.5]. No air frosts, but the had been 5 ground frosts.

The 16th had been clear overnight and, while there was no air frost, there was a moderate ground frost the thermometer reading -4.3C. Measured frost deposition was equivalent to 0.5 mm of precipitation. In the garden a mass of Chinodoxa 'Glory of the snow' was in flower, no snow this year for it, just a frost. Pressure 1021 mb was rising with a ridge of high-pressure to the SW from Azores high 1031 mb. Broken clouds with bright spells in the morning, bees were seen out briefly, increased in the afternoon and turning cooler in a freshening SW'ly breeze,. There was rain later in the evening (Frittenden 13.8C Aboyne -7.6C Achnagart 22.8 mm Capel Curig 3.8 mm Lyneham 10.5h Hawarden 8.2h Valley 6.0h) [Max 9.4C Min 1.3C Grass -4.3C Rain 13.2 mm]. Light rain continued after midnight on the 17th with moderate bursts at 0130 and 0500 GMT, by morning 13.2 mm had fallen. Precipitation had also been as rain on the Snowdonia Mountains so, apart from surviving snow patches, the summits were snowfree. At 0900 GMT there was thick fog (code 1) and the trees here were imitating a rain forest, drip drip drip. Underfoot the ground was soft and muddy, conditions were dull and dismal. Topped up the squirrel feeding boxes as at the present time they are removing about a litre of monkey nuts and some hazel nuts a day. Some they eat, others they take away and bury. Maybe they will not go back to find all the hazel nuts and they will germinate and produce saplings. I've not seen any yet, of the monkey nuts, who knows? A frontal system was over St George's Channel and Wales all associated with complex low 975 Iceland. With pressure steady on 1023 mb it was becoming brighter at 0945 GMT, the SSW'ly was force 4/5 and strengthening. A sunless day with rain and strong SW'ly wind gusting to 41 mph at 2135 GMT, rain moderate to heavy at times (Santon Downham 15.9C Alice Holt Lodge 0.4C Eskdalemuir 27.2 mm Capel Curig 27.0 mm East Malling 9.0h Hawarden 1.8h Valley nil) [Max 10.7C Min 6.8C Rain 22.2 mm]. Rain continued after midnight, but the wind moderated. By morning 22.2 mm of rain had fallen in the past 24h (09-09 GMT). This time the rain on a cold front (lying Pembrokeshire to the Wash at 06 GMT) turned to snow on the mountaintops and there was some wet snow lying at 2700 ft. A dull, cold and sunless day the maximum temperature today was 6.7C, the lowest of the month (St James Park 16.0C Usk 11.8C, Pennerley 4.7C Lake Vyrnwy 5.5C, Fyvie Castle -0.5C Lake Vyrnwy 3.4C, Capel Curig 21.6 mm, Kinloss 9.4h Valley nil) [Max 6.7C Min 4.7C Rain 22.2 mm]. The 19th dawned brighter with the sky clearing and pressure 1029 mb rising, cool overnight minimum 2.9C with a ground frost -1.1C. Some cloud was lingering, but Atlantic-high 1041 mb was SW of Ireland, with a ridge towards Anglesey and the cloud was thinning, high-pressure would lead to a most dramatic change in the weather pattern through to the end of the month. To the north of us there was an occluded front with showers of rain and snow, to the south there was a warm front with rain. In between, well it was not too bad a day, bright some weak sunshine in the morning and sunny by afternoon, a shade warmer than yesterday. It did turn cloudier later as the front tried to edge back north (St Catherine's Point 12.7C Porthmadog 11.6C, Liscombe & Tredegar 3.8C, Katesbridge -5.0C Sennybridge 1.2C, Mumbles Head 9.6 mm, Prestwick 9.0h Valley 2.7h) [Max 9.2C Min 2.9C Grass -1.1 Rain 0.4 mm].


There was hardly a cloud in the sky on the morning of the 20th, a little cumulus over the Snowdonia Mountains. Pressure 1033 mb was rising with high 1038 mb N of Scotland with a ridge 1036 mb W of Malin Head. Cool overnight, minimum 3.3C with a ground frost -1.7C. There was a light E'ly breeze and the temperature 5.8C, visibility was very good. Worked in the garden, planted out some Swiss chard that had stood all winter in modules; serviced the lawn mowers (Flymo and Honda) and glad I got them running smoothly afte winter storage. Hedgehog foraging on the lawn at the weather station.I found tis hedgehog foraging on the lawn, usually don't see them during the day, this one looked healthy enough. We see them from time to time and they leave their droppings in the night near a tray of water. We think they live and hibernate in several ecopiles we have in the wood. Some cloud encroached later associated with an Iberian low 1011 mb that brought some rain to the English channel earlier in the day. Soil moisture under grass determined today was 49.5% dm down from 53.7% dm on 7 February. The best of the weather was in the north-west today (Crosby 11.7C Porthmadog 11.6C, Braemar -7.5C Libanus 0.0C, Bedford 1.8 mm Sennybridge 1.0 mm, Tiree 11.5h Valley 9.8h) [Max 10.1C Min 3.3C Grass -1.7C Rain nil]. The 21st began mostly cloudy, but bright and fine. A cool morning 5.9C with an E'ly breeze. The afternoon was sunny (Otterbourne Water Works 12.7C Pembrey Sands 12.3C, Aviemore -6.7C Kielder Castle 1.4 mm East Malling 11.4h St Athan 8.0h) [Max 10.5C Min 3.0C Rain nil]

A very fine and sunny morning on the 22nd, and unusually quiet even for a Sunday #lockdown. Just 3 oktas of cirrus clouds and good visibility with a little haze. There was drumming from a woodpecker in the wood and I spotted a treecreeper, they are normally quite elusive birds. A cool night with clear sky the minimum had been down to 1.2C and there was a ground frost -2.4C that had all disappeared by 0900 GMT. It was a good day to sow some broad bean seeds in small pots in the greenhouse to bring on before planting out on the vegetable plot. Used our own compost, but could not get supplies from garden centre as confined to the property due to COVID-19 issues #StayingAtHome (Porthmadog 14.3C, Eskdalemuir -3.5C Capel Curig -2.6C, South Uist 2.8 mm East Malling 12.2h Aberporth 11.3h) [Max 11.9C Min 1.2C Grass -2.4C Rain nil], Tweet about #StayingAtHome .. Very fine and sunny again on the 23rd with pressure steady on 1025 mb in a ridge to S Britain from high 1043 mb over the E Baltic. A low 958 mb over the Denmark Strait meant tight isobars to the NW and fresh winds, Aultbea gusting 52 mph at 09 GMT, and cloudy. Here we had much lighter breezes and sunshine, best in the west (Trawsgoed 15.7C, Topcliffe -6.0C Hawarden -3.0C, Harris Quidnish 20.0 mm Wales nil, East Malling 12.3h St Athan 11.2h) [Max 13.8C Min 2.0C Grass -1.9C Rain nil]. It was great to hear a chiffchaff when I went out to take the obs on the 24th at 0900 GMT. The first of the season, for us a true harbinger of spring. One day earlier than the median date of arrival in recent years. Very fine with a moderate SSW'ly breeze. The temperature rose to 14.6C in the afternoon, but reached 19.4C in Bodelwyddan (Rhyl). Worked in the garden, started digging the vegetable plot. We still have purple sprouting, kale and a plentiful supply of leeks. Best in the west, Wales had no significant rainfall, wet in Harris, western Isles (Rhyl (Bodelwyddan) 19.4C Santon Downham -4.0C Harris Quidnish 41.0 mm Wales nsr East Malling 12.3h St Athan 10.8h) [Max 14.6C Min 4.2C rain nil]. Tweet about comma butterfly and glory-of-the-snow in the garden ..Hardly a cloud in the sky again on the the 25th and after a minimum of 6.7C was already 11.9C at 0900 GMT. Pressure was steady on 1023 mb with the high 1041 mb E Europe. There was a cold front NW Scotland associated with low 1014 mb FitzRoy. S Britain was sunny while it was cloudy in the NW with rain in Ireland and Scotland. It was perfectly dry here with the temperature rising to 18.1C at 1309 GMT. Bala reached 18.2C, Bodelwyddan 17.7C, Mona 15.7C, Gorwel Heights 15.1C and Valley 14.1C. It was very stormy off the Norwegian coast and I'm sure the Hurtigruten ferries would be glad they use the inner passage, they have been sailing these waters since 1893 (Bala 18.2C Santon Downham -4.3C Achnagart 16.0 mm Wales nsr, East Malling 12.3h Aberporth 11.8h) [Max 18.1C Min 6.7C Rain nil]

I did spot a little cloud at 0900 GMT on he 26th, 1 okta recorded. Otherwise blue sky with moderate hazy visibility (pollution smoke code 04). Very fine and sunny with a temperature of 9.8C rising to 14.3C just after noon. It would have been a good day to go out on an ecological site visit, but with #lockdown in force I made do with 5 times circuits the garden and wood that is 1 mile. Tweet about low humidities .. The Black Hamburg grapevine in the greenhouse has sprouted (Levens Hall 18.0C Porthmadog 17.9C, South Newington -5.3C Usk -2.8C, Derrylin Cornahoule 3.4 mm Wales nsr, Aberporth 12.1h) [Max 14.3C Min 5.6C Rain nil]. The 27th was very fine and sunny with a cool ENE'ly breeze. Pressure 1027 mb was rising with Atlantic-high 1034 mb lying to the north-west. No cloud in the sky at 0900 GMT, very good visibility with smoke haze, ozone levels were moderate across S Anglesey and Snowdonia (source: Air Quality Wales) . The relative humidity was unusually low 37% here, with a temperature of 8.7C dewpoint -5.2C, falling to 32% (dewpoint -5.5) at 10.1C at 1000 GMT. Buff-tailed bumblebee on comfrey.At Gorwel Heights RH was 18% (dewpoint -11.9C) at 10.8C; Gorddinog RH 20% (dewpoint -10.4C at 11.9C; and at Valley (METAR) 46% this falling to 32% (dewpoint -5C) ambient 11C at 0950 GMT. The event lasted several hours spreading to other areas in central Britain, but not as low values. Values rose slowly, but at 1250 GMT was 34%, at 1500 GMT 60% . In the afternoon a mass of buff-tailed bumblebees were feeding on a patch of common comfrey at the edge of the wood (right). The head gardener spotted a red-tailed bumblebee amongst them, but I was not quick enough to capture a photograph (Porthmadog 16.2C Bala -4.8C Edinburgh Botanic Gardens 2.6 mm Aberporth 12.2h Valley 11.5h) [Max 11.9C Min 2.5C Rain nil].

On the 28th intense Atlantic-high was S of Iceland and low 993 mb N Norway had an associated cold front over Scotland. Remnant frontal cloud was charted over N Wales at 06 GMT; we had 6 oktas of cloud cover at 0900 GMT, high cirrus with lower altocumulus lenticularis to the south, clearing later. It was fine, fairly bright and 7.6C, but the force 4/5 NE'ly breeze felt cold. There was sunshine further SW and S England, in Scotland it was snowing at Altnaharra and was lying at 3600 ft on Cairngorm Mountain (Hurn 13.8C Bala -3.1C Resallach 2.4 mm Camborne 11.5h Valley 7.1h) [Max 11.0C Min 3.2C Rain nil]. It was a cold morning on the 29th, the 4.3C bitter in the force 5/6 NE'ly wind. All surfaces were dry, and the ground was hard and showing surface cracking, not by frost (grass minimum 0.7C, but by dryness. There had been no rain for 11 days; and there was none today. Pressure remained high 1046 mb rising with intense high 1055 mb at noon S of Iceland dominating the weather. Sunny at times, but cool the maximum 8.2C fifth lowest of the month (Usk 10.1C Castlederg -2.5C Resallach 4.2 mm Camborne 11.2h St Athan 10.5h Valley 4.6h() [Max 8.2C Min 3.0C Rain nil].

A greater spotted woodpecker had found a very resonant tree branch on which to drum on the 30th as I reached the Stevenson screen for the obs at 0900 GMT. It was dull with a light to moderate N'ly wind and the 6.9C temperature felt chilly. Still no rain to measure, I shook out dust, bud scales and a spider from the rain gauge bottle, no beetles today. Any Saharan dust is currently being transported N around the Atlantic intense-high 1051 mb W of Scotland, the jetstream is also in this position. Any dust we have at the moment is mostly local in origin. It continued breezy in the morning and some sunny sells developed in the afternoon. Farmers have been putting several loads of dung on the field adjacent to the weather station, I suspect it is in preparation for it's rotational ploughing and planting a cereal crop. For the last years cattle and sheep have been grazing this field (Glasgow 13.5C Porthmadog 12.8C, Lo Max Lake Vyrnwy 6.2C, Min Trawsgoed -4.0C, Resallach 7.4 mm, Boulmer 10.7h Aberdaron 7.4h Valley 5.0h) [Max 10.5C Min 3.1C Rain nil].

View of the Carneddau Mountains, Wales in #lockdown.

A very fine and sunny day on the 31st with a few cumulus clouds at first and very good, clear visibility. The 6.8C RH 80% felt chilly in the E'ly breeze. Pressure was 1037 mb with Atlantic=high 1046 mb not quite as intense, remnant cold front central England, showers on the East Coast, The Wash and Maplin Head. But nice in the garden #StayingAtHome did 3 laps of the garden and got on with some pruning jobs. Still #working some contractors for Scottish Power came to coppice trees under a power line going to neighbouring property. They come every so many years to do this, surprised to see them, did not approach kept well clear, did not stay long. Kept dry during the day (Porthmadog 13.0C Katesbridge -2.9C Resallach 4.6 mm Shoeburyness 11.7h Valley 10.4h) {Max 10.9C Min 3.5C Rain 0.4 mm].

In contrast to February the month ended with a rainfall total of 85.7 mm, close to the averages (104%) & [101%], the PWD (Potential Water Deficit) was 34.5 mm. Temperatures were also close to the averages with the mean on 7.0C (+0.2) & [0.0] ranking 19th lowest in station records since 1979. Sunny.


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April 2020

#StayingAtHome #lockdown

April 1 - began on a dull note with overcast skies, moderate hazy visibility after recent slight rain. April is usually a dry and sunny month in these parts, after the dry end to March we could do with rain. Pressure 1027 mb was falling with Atlantic-high 1039 mb W of Ireland, and a ridge towards western shores, losing intensity. Seagulls following the plough. There was a fresh feeling NNE'ly breeze veering SW'ly by the afternoon. A little brightness at times with the odd glimpse of sunshine in the morning. There was a cold front N of Scotland associated with low 992 mb over the Norwegian Sea. Ploughing of the field adjacent to the weather station was attracting a lot of seagulls (tweet) picking up what they could find in the turned over soil, the field had been heavily dunged in recent days. A cool day (Gosport 13.3C South Farnborough -5.2C Resallach 9.8 mm Camborne 7.3h Aberporth 0.8h Valley 0.1h) [Max 9.8C Min 4.1C Grass 1.2C Rain 0.6 mm]. A similar start on the 2nd, overcast skies after recent rain, dull and damp. Pressure 1017 mb was still falling as Atlantic-high 1031 mb to the SW with ridge to Cornwall continued to decline. Low 970 mb over the Norwegian Sea had an associated cold front over the North Channel. It was windy in the N of Scotland with Wick reporting gusts of 51 mph. Some brightness with glimpses of sunshine in the afternoon, a little warmer and a dry day (Gosport 15.1C Cardiff 14.0C Santon Downham -1.8C Resallach 13.2 mm Swyddffynnon 5.4 mm Leuchars 8.0h St Athan 3.7h) [Max 12.2C Min 6.2C Rain nil]. A better day on the 3rd starting mostly cloudy, but with signs of the sky clearing in a light WSW'ly breeze. Visibility was good, but hazy and some bright spell with glimpses of sunshine came along during the morning. Pressure was steady on 1018 mb with a high 1022 mb over Biscay and a warm front across the Severn estuary. Still a little cloud around in the afternoon, but this disappeared to give a largely sunny evening. The adjacent field was cultivated today using a 'modern' cultivator it did not seem to take long to get the job done (Cardiff 14.9C Tulloch Bridge -4.3C Resallach 10.4 mm St Athan 8.9h Valley 5.2h) [Max 11.6C Min 3.3C Grass 0.6C Rain nil]. Similar on the 4th fair early in the day, mostly cloudy at 0900 GMT with a temperature of 9.4C. Pressure unchanged steady on 1017 mb with high-pressure 1025/ 1020 Europe and Spain. Atlantic-low 983 mb S of Iceland, it was cloudy in the SW and W and sunny in the E and SE. It was raining in NW Scotland. Here not a bad day, very good visibility so a few small surviving snow patches on Y Garn, Carnedd Llewelyn and Snowdon (Garnedd Ugain). Soil temperatures are still below 10C down to 1 m, at 30 cm it was 9.3C so should be fine for seed germination if a little on the dry side. A warmer day. BBC News: People across the UK appear to be adhering to social distancing rules despite the temptation to go out in the sunny weather, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said. Police face "one of their biggest challenges" of the coronavirus lockdown as the weather improves. He said there was "evidence to suggest" there has been a lower level of compliance among young people. Sussex Police said that two people had been summonsed to attend court after having a barbecue on Hove beach. Others had been stopped by Police entering Wales going to holiday homes or to climb mountains (St James Park 17.3C Lerwick 7.2C, Baltasound -3.5C Baltasound 11.0 mm Wattisham 12.3h (Valley 4.5h) [Max 14.9C Min 6.4C rain nil]. Tweet about the Foehn wind ..The sky had been clear overnight and early on the morning of the 5th, but since had become mostly cloudy 7 oktas at 0900 GMT. Tweet about te first bluebell of the season ..It was, however warm, 14.9C with RH 52%, it was that SE'ly somewhat gusty Föhn wind off the mountains again. The first bluebells of the season had sprung up in the wood, two weeks later than last year, but on the median date of appearance in recent years. The ground was hard and dry with cracks in the soil surface of the met plot. Pressure 1007 mb was falling with low 972 mb W of Shannon on an approaching course. It was raining in SW Ireland, but it was sunny most places and here a nice sunny afternoon. The temperature reached 21.8C at 1359 GMT the RH dropping to 37%. Gorwel Heights AWS had 21.9C and Gorddinog AWS 22.4C. Had to dash inside at 3 pm to join in a family Zoom meeting. There was a little showery rain before midnight (Porthmadog 22.2C Inverbervie 8.4C, Santon Downham -1.4C Cardinham 4.8 mm Scolton 3.2 mm Shoeburyness 12.6h Aberporth 8.5h Valley 5.5h) [Max 21.8C Min 7.4C Rain 1.2 mm]

The small amount of rain 1.2 mm overnight had dampened the ground 'laying the dust' so that all monitored surfaces soil, concrete and grass on the morning of the 6th were damp. Not enough by any means to restore the water balance. A fine bright morning with sunshine as any lingering cloud (3 oktas) reduced. Pressure 1013 mb was rising with a low 955 mb SW Iceland and an occluded front over the Irish Sea at 06 GMT. The band of showery rain was now over SE England, otherwise sunny. Potted up seedling tomato plants for the greenhouse and for outdoors eventually when the minimum temperatures are higher (Frittenden 18.8C Dalwhinnie 8.5C, Okehampton 5.3C Tyndrum 16.0 mm Tredegar 9.6 mm Aberdaron 12.3h Valley 11.5h) [Max 13.6C Min 8.3C Rain nil]. A very fine and sunny morning on the 7th, I was pleased to hear a blackcap singing the first this season joining the chiffchaff that arrived on the 24 March. No sighting here of house martin or swallow. Visibility was very good with slight haze, a snow patch was still visible on Yr Wyddfa. With pressure on 1029 mb and high 1031 mb not far away over the S North Sea, the jetstream was set well to the N of the UK, a fine day was expected. The temperature was 11.2C and though it did not rise to yesterday's heights the 16.3C in the afternoon was not too bad in a sheltered spot in the garden (Northolt 20.4C Cardiff 17.7C Aberdaron 12.9C, Sennybridge -3.1C Baltasound 2.6 mm Aberdaron 12.5h Valley 12.1h) [Max 16.3C 4.3C Grass 1.2C rain nil]. After an almost clear overnight sky and a very bright moon, apart from early weak glimpses of the sun on the morning of the 8th moderately high altostratus cloud had encroached. It was fine and the temperature 14.1C and pressure steady on 1026 mb. Visibility was very good and clear of haze. Pressure was low 1023 mb over Biscay and 984 Norwegian Sea. There was a cold front over the N of Scotland and a detached warm front over the English Channel. Not to worry, it was sunny by afternoon and several first sightings of holly blue, orange tip, large white, and small tortoiseshell butterflies. Peacocks seen earlier were also seen, but not comma. The wild cherry was starting to bloom on the top of the tree, no leaves yet. The garden has got very dry and some irrigation of flower beds was necessary (Herstmonceux 23.9C Aberporth 15.5C, Kielder Castle -0.5C Mona 1.8C, Lentran 8.4 mm Morpeth 12.0h Aberdaron 9.7h Valley 7.7h) [Max 18.9C Min 7.0C Rain nil]

Much the same on the 9th albeit broken cloud at 0900 GMT. Pressure steady on 1025 mb with high 1029 mb stationed over the N of Scotland, frontal cloud was over the Borders. Very fine, feeling pleasantly warm, butterflies around the garden. Air pollution ozone moderate level 4 in places including N Wales. Soil moisture level under grass determined today 44% dm was drier than in April and August 2019. On the uncultivated bare met plot it was 14% dm just lower than the permanent wilting percentage 15% for the local soil. All the temperatures in the soil profile 5 - 100 cm read 10C, or more this morning, for the first time this year; 5 cm 12.9C; 10 cm 10.7C; 20 cm 10.4C; 30 cm 11.0C; 50 cm 10.5C; and 100 cm 10.0C. A pleasant evening with little wind and a bottle of beer (Wiggonholt 24.4C Usk 24.1C, Kinbrace -6.7C Glasgow 2.6 mm Blackpool 12.1h St Athan 11.8h Valley 10.2h) [Max 20.9C Min 8.3C Rain nil]. The 10th began fine and warm after a mild night air minimum 11.5C, warmest since 16 January (11.6C). The temperature at 09 GMT was 18.5C with RH 61%. Broken cloud some cumulus with high cirrus clouds. Visibility was moderate with thick haze the result of air pollution and Saharan dust. Ozone levels were moderate level 5 in N Wales (Machlyn Mawr), Cardiff City centre, Cwmbran and Port Talbot (source: Air Quality Wales). I had noticed that seedling sensitive tomato varieties had leaf marks typical of ozone damage. Very fine and sunny day, it was our turn for a warm 22.4C in the Föhn-enhanced breeze, highest maximum of the year so far (Gorwel Heights 20.2C & Gorddinog 20.6C). Pressure was on 1023 mb in a ridge from high 1034 mb SE North Sea in command. Some cloud encroached by evening (Bude 25.0C Trawsgoed 24.8C, Loch Glascarnoch 1.9C Thomastown 7.6 mm Bala 3.6 mm Shoeburyness 12.6h St Athan 12.2h Valley 9.5h) [Max 22.4C Min 11.5C Rain nil]. A fine and warm morning with scattered clouds in hazy sunshine on the 11th, after an overnight minimum of 11.5C, highest of the month so far, the temperature 15.3C at 0900 GMT. Pressure 1024 mb was rising in a ridge from Azores high 1032 mb to central UK. Visibility was poor (< 2 km) in thick haze (smog) a combination of Saharan dust and air pollution. The ozone level at Marchlyn Mawr was a level 5, but was low for NOx level 1. Cardiff City centre ozone was on level 2 and Port Talbot level 3 (source: Air Quality Wales). Despite there being less traffic on the A55 (cameras) the road here seemed just as busy #lockdown. The wild cherry tree had blossom from top to bottom branches today, it is loved by the birds especially chiffchaff and blackcap. Did not quite make 20C today (St James Park 25.5C Cardiff 25.0C, Santon Downham 2.1C Baltasound 6.4 mm Aberporth 12.3h Valley 10.6h) [Max 19.8C Min 11.5C Rain nil]. A fine, but cooler (11.8C) and dull morning on the 12th with moderately high altostratus and cumulus clouds. Visibility had improved and was good to very good with the mountaintops in the clear. The ozone level at Marchlyn Mawr was level 3 and Cardiff City centre and Narberth 2 (source: Air Quality Wales). Pressure was high 1035 mb between Scotland and Iceland, but pressure here 1014 mb was falling with low 1006 mb over Biscay pushing frontal systems our way with a cold front reaching here at 1530 GMT. This weak system produced next to no rain here, but some mixed source dust fallout, and a slow fall in temperature. Llanfairfechan AWS Gorwel had 0.8 mm and Gorddinog 1.0 mm c. 1830 GMT. Hawarden reported 10.2 mm and dust fallout was reported in Wilmslow in heavy rain (St James Park 25.0C Usk 21.6C, Dalwhinnie 1.0C Hawarden 10.2 mm Reading University 11.4h) [Max 15.2C Min 9.0C Rain 0.1 mm].

After yesterday's minor disturbance the weather on the 13th was back to being fine and sunny. Hardly a cloud in the sky, but a moderate ENE'ly breeze that made the 7.4C at 0900 GMT feel rather fresh. Pressure 1029 mb was rising again with high 1035 mb unusually placed between Scotland and Iceland. A dry sunny day (Cardinham 14.4C Pembrey Sands 14.3C, Dalwhinnie -0.7C Pennerley 19.4 mm Hawarden 3.2 mm Rostherne 12.9h Valley 12.7h) [Max 11.1C Min 5.2C Rain nil]. With high pressure 1030 mb (UK) dominating our weather it was another fine sunny morning on the 14th with just a little cumulus cloud appearing at 0900 GMT. Overnight there had been a ground frost -1.8C, the air temperature went down to 1.5C but, Valley reported an airfrost -1C. The NNE'ly breeze was light, but the 9.3C still felt a little cool. It was a cold day in the NE, at Newcastle after an airfrost -4C the temperature struggled to reach 6C in the breeze off the North Sea and made the 12.5C reached here positively balmy. Manchester reached 10C after an airfrost of -2C. Our Bardsey apple tree has started to flower, earlier than last year when it did not flower until 7 May. Planted out 3 rows of broad beans raised from seed in the greenhouse, they are more successful here grown like this, in the past I have had the seed taken by mice and the small seedlings eaten by slugs. The larger plants stand a much better chance. There was an aircraft flying around today, there have been none for a while. An aerial survey has been carried out in the area of the Carneddau and Llyn in recent days, the flight path did pass over here. The coastguard helicopter, usually busy, has also not been seen #lockdown (Helens Bay 16.8C Bala 15.3C, Redesdale Camp -6.7C Capel Curig -3.1C, Baltasound 3.2 mm Aberporth 13.1h) [Max 12.5C Min 1.5C Grass -1.8C Rain nil]. Very fine and sunny again on the 15th with very good visibility and slight haze. Pressure was steady on 1024 mb. A jet aircraft flew by at 0944 GMT. The NE'ly breeze strengthened through the day (Durham 21.2C Usk 18.6C, Katesbridge -4.2C Cassley 1.4 mm Eskdalemuir 13.3h Aberdaron 13.1h) [Max 15.6C Min 3.7C Grass 0.2C Rain nil].

The first 15-days of the month had been very sunny and dry with rainfall of just 1.9 mm (4%) & [3%] of averages. Temperatures were on the warm side with the mean 11.1C (+1.9) & [+2.2]. No air frosts, there had been 1 ground frost.

Another glorious day #StayingAtHome in the garden on the 16th, plenty of jobs to do (running behind with weather updates) and the bluebells in the wood are about at their best. The ramsons, wild garlic, is flowering now and we are continuing to use it as salad, adding the odd flowering stem beloved by chefs, and a few very nutritious dandelion leaves. I have not tried the flowers yet... Traffic past the weather station seemed less this morning and birdsong sounded brilliant. Visibility was good, it was moderately hazy with Marchlyn Mawr monitoring station reporting level 3 ozone pollution, the forecast however was for level 4 to 5 (source: Air Quality Wales). A small amount of cirrus clouds and an ENE'ly breeze, a pleasant 19.1C in the afternoon, and no rain (Bude 21.8C Porthmadog 21.7C Gorddinog 21.1C, Santon Downham -2.1C Bala -1.1C, Resallach 1.0 mm, Morecambe 13.1h Aberdaron 12.0h) [Max 19.1C Min 6.6C Rain nil]. On the 17th the bud scales have started falling off the opening buds on the trees. They are sticky, are a problem to clear up and stick to your shoes and get in the house. Otherwise one welcomes the new light green foliage of spring as will the birds when the insects emerge. It was another fine morning with a few cumulus clouds and just good visibility in thick level 4 smoke haze. A fly in the ointment is a slow-moving low 1005 mb just off cap Finisterre pushing weather up to Brittany and beyond. There were sferics seen in the Channel off Caen, France. Rain was seen on the radar at Porthmadog and Llyn at 10 GMT. Mostly sunny at first, cloud developing rather quickly and a maximum of 14.0C reached at 1328 GMT. Cloud thickening in the afternoon and a heavy localised shower of rain at 23 GMT in the evening, not seen in Llanfairfechan (Porthmadog 18.1C, Tredegar 9.4C, Aboyne -5.4C Lake Vyrnwy 5.7C, Thorney Island 20.6 mm St Athan 10.0 mm' Stornoway 13.6h Valley 3.9h) [Max 14.0C Min 6.0C Rain 7.2 mm]. A fine morning on the 18th with a little weak sunshine. After the shower of rain in the night surfaces were damp and plants in the garden had perked up. The 7.2 mm was sufficient to ensure that this April would not be the driest in Llansadwrn on record, the 9.0 mm so far now exceeding the 6.7 mm recorded at this station in 1980. Pressure 1018 mb was rising with slow-moving low 1011 mb over the Celtic Sea. There was band of cloud over the N Irish Sea and Liverpool Bay, with another over St George's Channel. Little in the way of sunshine today, with a maximum daytime temperature of 11.9C at 1316 GMT, and the afternoon increasingly dull with some spits and spots of rain sufficient to give up gardening activities for the day (Aviemore 16.5C Pembrey Sands 13.8C, Lake Vyrnwy 5.2C, Aviemore -5.4C Lake Vrnwy 3.0C, Lyneham 25.6 mm Usk 9.2 mm, Stornoway 13.7h Valley 0.9h) [Max 12.7C Min 6.4C Rain 0.3 mm].

Part of the old bluebell wood at the weather station in #lockdown.


The 19th was a beautiful bright and warm morning. Being a Sunday it was quiet, and no church services and bells because of #lockdown. I walked around the wood with bluebells and wild garlic at their best, no traffic, no sounds other than the vibrant singing of so many birds, blackbird, robin, thrush, persistent great tit, agitated wrens and a sudden resonant drumming of a woodpecker, a startled pheasant and the whisper of a gentle SE'ly breeze in the treetops. I must not forget the aroma of wild garlic underfoot in places - it was a remarkable treat. Horse chestnut bright green leaves and striking white flowers.The temperature had reached 12.7C at 0900 GMT, the maximum of the past 24-h, with 75% RH, very good visibility haze slight, pressure steady on 1022 mb with S Norwegian high dominating. Close encounter with a pile of plates.Cloudy on the western fringe, early upslope stratus cloud was clearing from the Snowdonia mountaintops, elsewhere sunny. In the afternoon I was treated to a close encounter with a 'pile of plates' hovering for 20 minutes or so over the old Gadlys cricket field. Horsechestnut flowers looked striking in today's sunshine and ants were back under the cover, an old metal dustbin lid, of the lysimeter tank (Porthmadog 18.3C Gorddinog 18.0C Lake Vyrnwy 12.4C and 4.8C, Tredegar 0.4 mm Lake Vyrnwy 10.7h Valley 6.5h) [Max 15.3C Min 6.3 Rain nil].

The 20th began without a cloud in the sky with good visibility and moderate haze the result of pollution ;smoke' and Saharan dust. With a moderate NE'ly breeze all surfaces were dry, the 8.9C at 0900 GMT felt 'fresh'. Trees hereabouts are greening up noticeably quickly, beech a nice pale green colour in particular, Cattle are now grazing the fields near the weather station, the sheep have been moved off somewhere else. Best in the west Cardiff 19.1C, Braemar -5.7C Bala 1.3C, Baltasound 0.4 mm Kinloss 14.2h Aberporth 13.5h Valley 13.0h() {Max 16.0C Min 4.8C Rain nil]. Well there was just a little cloud today the 21st, a lenticular altocumulus cloud had formed just to the S, it did not persist very long It was feeling very fresh in the strong ENE'ly breeze with a temperature of 9.9C, this rose to 18.0C in the afternoon and if you found a sheltered spot it was quite warm. Orange coloured Welsh poppies are in flower in the garden and the blue irises are budding up, these usually give a spectacular display later on. An elm tree, a survivor of the Dutch Elm Disease that affected the wood greatly in the 1970s, was in flower. Soil moisture under grass (2-8 cm) determined today was 39.1% dry mass down from 43.8% dm on the 8th. The top 2 cm consisting of mainly compacted roots and grass containing most of the moisture was 46% dm, down from 69% dm on the 8th. On the undisturbed met plot 0-8 cm deep was 15.2%, similar to that at the beginning o the month. On the vegetable plot, that has a larger organic matter content (part not irrigated), 0-8 cm was 20.7% dm and 8-14 cm was 24.5% dm. The permanent wilting percentage for the soil here is 15% dm. We do have a very dry event and need rain. It is remarkable that this situation has arisen so quickly after the wet months of February and March, this is not only due to having had just 8.8 mm, but also the above average temperatures and high evaporation rates. Today's ET (AWS calculated evapotranspiration) was 3.5 mm, the total this month to date 55.2 mm. You can read about a previous dry spell in March and April 2003, and concerns about soil water here and about the 18-day drought in May 2004 here (Porthmadog 20.9C Fair Isle 10.7C, Braemar -5.9C Sennybridge 2.9C, Scilly 2.6 mm, Kinloss 14.2h Hawarden 13.4h Valley 11.4h) [Max 18.0C Min 6.2C rain nil]..



It was sunny everywhere on the morning of the 22nd with just 1 okta noted here at 0900 GMT. All surfaces were dry, except the lysimeter where there was heavy guttation. Pressure was steady on 1022 mb with high 1037 mb S Norway unmoved. Low 1006 mb was over the Med with disturbed weather, a detached occlusion was off SW Ireland and over Charente Maritime. Fine and sunny here, but there was a slowly moderating force 5 NNE'ly so finding a sheltered spot was best, it was warm in the afternoon with a maximum of 18.2C (Hurn 22.6C Porthmadog 22.3C, Braemar -4.8C Bala 1.5C. St James Park 0.2 mm, Kirkwall 13.8h St Athan 11.9h Valley 11.4h) [Max 18.2C Min 6.2C Rain nil]. A mostly cloudy start to the day on the 23rd with weak sunshine cloud decreasing with sunshine later. A little warmer, 12.6C at 0900 GMT rising to 18.9C in the afternoon. Pressure steady on 1022 mb with high 1030 over the Norwegian Sea, Erected temporary extra staging in the greenhouse to accommodate pricked out seedlings growing for the herbaceous border and indoor / outdoor tomato plants (Herstmonceux 24.3C Porthmadog 23.1C, Fair Isle 8.5C Aberporth 15.5C, Altnaharra -4.1C Bala 1.6C, Houghton Hall 0.2 mm, Kinloss 14.2h St Athan 12.4h Valley 7.1h) [Max 18.9C Min 8.0C Rain nil]. Tricky to photograph guttation droplets at the tips of grass leaves.Another of those rare cloudless mornings on the 24th, although we have had a few lately, they are nevertheless rare here. Again all surfaces were dry except grass on the lysimeter where there was heavy guttation (photo left), this is not dew but exudation of drops of xylem sap on the tips or edges of leaves of grasses and some other vascular plants. Kept irrigated, at as near moisture saturation point as possible, the lysimeter grass is not short of water and guttation takes place, whereas there was none on the 'dry' grass areas where the soil is far below saturation at present. I have been making my own Bara Gorsaf Tywydd weather station bread for a while and made a loaf today. My home made weather station bread.I have not been able to get the Melin Llynnon stoneground wholemeal flour for some years now, so the recipe has changed. Any flour has become unobtainable in the shops at present and yeast is like gold dust #lockdown. I normally keep a small stock, but it won't last for ever. A very fine and sunny day (Porthmadog 23.2C, Wick 8.7C Libanus 17.4C, Kinbrace -5.0C Bala 0.5C, Aberporth 0.4 mm, Altnaharra 14.1h Hawarden 13.1h Valley 12.1h) [Max 19.4C Min 9.4C Rain nil]. A pleasantly warm morning on the 25th, but mostly cloudy the sky having moderately high altostratus. At 0900 GMT 17.9C and 56% RH, it was fairly bright with glimpses of weak sunshine. So pleasant that able to have a cup of coffee in the garden after obs. It was so quiet (Saturday less traffic) that I was able to hear the hum of insects in the trees along with the chiffchaff and a distant woodpecker drumming Sunshine was at a premium today with localised cloud affecting Anglesey and Snowdonia (Aviemore 20.7C Trawsgoed 20.2C, Inverbervie 8.0C Valley 14.8C, Altnaharra -2.3C Capel Curig 4.3C, Trawsgoed 0.4 mm, Dundrennan 13.6h Aberporth 11.5h Valley 2.2h) [Max 19.1C Min 9.4C Rain nil]

The 26th began very murky with very poor visibility, fog was reported at Valley. At 0900 GMT visibility was still poor partly due to poor air quality. Marchlyn Mawr monitoring station was reporting level 5 ozone concentrations compared wit the centre of Cardiff level 2. There were glimpses of weak sunshine and ground conditions remained 'dry as a bone', there was slight guttation on grassy areas this morning. Pressure 1012 mb with high 1014 mb off east Anglia. A light SW'ly freshening as a weak cold front was here about 15 GMT, the SW'ly wind backing NNE'ly. Did potting up of tomato plants currently Tumbler F1 for outdoor, Fandango and Mountain Magic, I normally grow my own, which is just as well as unlikely to get any from garden centres closed for #lockdown. Brittany Ferries appear to be operating normally for freight traffic viewed online via 'shipais'. The Company started out bringing cauliflowers from Brittany to Britain and expanded into car and passenger traffic. We have been with them many times over the years to holiday in France (Holbeach 22.4C Cardiff 19.5C, Santon Downham -1.7C Whitechurch 2.9C, Normanby Hall 8.2 mm Gogerddan 1.2 mm, Wattisham 13.5h St Athan 9.9h Valley 2.3h) [Max 13.4C Min 8.1C Rain 0.2 mm]. Emerging tree leaves looked stunning.A brighter fresher morning on the 27th with the sky clearing after a weak cold front leaving some cumulus clouds over the mountaintops of Snowdonia. Pressure was 1010 mb with low 1003 mb S Norway and an occlusion over Scotland. With a really blue, blue sky overhead the day was very sunny. In the bright sunlight the newly emerging light-green leaves on beech trees in particular across green fields, and the white flower candles on horse chestnuts, looked stunning. Cattle had replaced the sheep that had been grazing. A tempting view of the mountains and Moel Eilio currently closed to visitors (Frittenden 20.6C Porthmadog 16.2C, Katesbridge -3.4C Tredgear 5.7C, Glasgow 7.0 mm Trawsgoed 1.2 mm, Morecambe 13.9h Valley 11.2h) [Max 12.8C Min 7.3C Rain 0.1 mm]. In contrast we had a dull day on the 28th, but no one should complain as we needed some rain on the garden and fields for forage and crops to grow. Spits and spots in the morning as an area of rain to the S and SE of the Snowdonia Mountain range to arrive. Pressure was on 1006 mb with a low 1002 mb over Somerset and a with a warm front over central Wales, a detached cold front was across N England. The best of he weather was in N Ireland, N Scotland and NE England; it was very wet in S Wales. The temperature here rose to 8.6C at 1050 GMT then fell slowly, as light rain fell through most of the afternoon, to 8.0C by 18 GMT (Armagh 15.0C Milford Haven 10.4C, Lake Vyrnwy 5.9C, Braemar -6.0C Mona 2.1C, Middle Wallop 23.6 mm Tredegar 19.8 mm, Stornoway 13.4h Valley 0.0h) [Max 10.6C Min 5.6C Rain 4.8 mm].



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Stein, A. F., Draxler, R. R., Rolph, G. D., Stunder, B. J. B., Cohen, M. D., and Ngan, F., (2015). NOAA's HYSPLIT atmospheric transport and dispersion modeling system, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 96, 2059-2077.

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