Thursday 12 April 2012, 16:04
April is known for being the month of showers but of course showers occur at any time of the year.
The day can start fine with a clear, blue sky but very soon, fluffy clouds begin to appear.
This is because the sun heats the ground which, in turn heats the air above it. As the air is warmed it begins to rise and cool and if there is enough moisture in the atmosphere (in the form of water vapour) it condenses to form clouds.
These clouds can be no more than harmless 'cotton wool' clouds, but given the right conditions they can turn nasty, developing into towering cumulonimbus clouds.
These clouds can soar as high as 20000 to 30000 in the atmosphere and can produce heavy rain, hail, thunder and occasionally funnels clouds and tornadoes!
One of my followers on twitter took this amazing photo this afternoon http://twitpic.com/98v25h
Later in the day, as temperatures begin to fall and the sun sets, it is common for showers to die out during the late evening and night and for the clouds to disappear.
The often fine weather early in the day is a feature of April's weather because the sea temperature is at its lowest around 9 or 10 Celsius.
At most other times of the year the sea the sea is warm enough to generate showers. But in April, we normally have to rely on the sun to do the job.