Archives for February 2011

Dry and settled

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:30 UK time, Monday, 28 February 2011

There were a few showers over the weekend, even a little snow on the mountains, but the emphasis this week is on dry and settled weather thanks to high pressure.

Cloud amounts will vary from day to day with some bright or sunny spells and it will be cold enough at night for some frost. I wouldn't rule out the odd mist or fog patch as well.

Tomorrow, of course, is 1 March and St. David's Day and if you're planning an outdoor event it will be generally dry with some bright skies and sunshine too but not everywhere.

The south east will be cloudier and this cloud will become more widespread during the afternoon. The best of the sunshine tomorrow in the north and north west and around Cardigan Bay with top temperatures of 6 to 9 Celsius with light winds from the east or north east.

If you're voting on Thursday, the good news is that the weather will be dry with highs of 8 to 11 Celsius with a breeze from the north east.

At the moment, it looks like we can look forward to a dry weekend with high pressure over us.


I'm talking about good murmurations...

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 11:16 UK time, Monday, 28 February 2011

Okay, so it hasn't quite got the same ring to it as the classic Beach Boys track 'Good Vibrations' but it's just as spectacular to watch and listen to! As thousands of starlings take to the skies each night prior to roosting.

Nobody knows why they do it, which makes it all the more fascinating. Some suggest it's done for safety in numbers i.e. the birds gather 'en masse' (before settling down for the night), making it hard for predators such as owls and peregrines to pick them off individually at dusk.

Others believe it's literally a pecking order - deciding who goes where and organising themselves into groups (on the wing) before landing.

But perhaps they're just being sociable and catching up with each other before bed time?

Whatever the reason, it's clearly something important for the birds to do as they use up precious calories flying around in great flocks, when they could just simply land.

Starling murmuration by Sharon Williams

A starling murmuration by Sharon Williams.

Still baffled? Watch videos of starling murmurations here.

Aberystwyth Pier has always been a hot spot for this spectacle in Wales - so much so, that BBC Autumnwatch visited last year and made a short film about the pier starlings.

There are however plenty of other places to find starlings and I've been contacted recently by Dave Brennan in Carmarthen who reports: "A huge starling flock roosting at St David's Hospital/Trinity College in Carmarthen with flock estimates currently around 250,000-300,000 birds."

"It's an absolutely fantastic spectacle in the evenings but not everybody living nearby is entirely happy due to smell! The birds will probably be leaving to return to continent soon though."

And in South Wales, Keith Davies has seen large flocks in Newton, Porthcawl: "Tonight I came home and they had all come to rest in the shrubs and bushes on the roundabout at the bottom of Danygraig hill on the way into Porthcawl. The sight was amazing and I think this is going to be a regular event."

If you've seen a good sized flock in your area then send in a photo or video to our Flickr group or you can email me here at


Weather fit for a king

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:50 UK time, Thursday, 24 February 2011

We've seen a big contrast in the weather across Wales today. The south and west were cloudy and grey but on Anglesey the weather was fit for a king at Trearddur Bay, if a little windy!

There has also been plenty of sunshine on the north coast, Wrexham, and in parts of Powys and Monmouthshire.

Temperatures in Flintshire reached a spring-like 13 Celsius but in the south and west it was much cooler, only 8 Celsius at Rhossili on Gower with a breeze off the sea.

Satellite image by Eumetsat

Satellite image by Eumetsat shows the extent of the cloud covering Wales at 12pm today.

The satellite picture from Eumetsat shows the extent of the cloud covering Wales at 12pm today. The cloud is low and not that deep so it can't get over the hills and mountains which act like a barrier. Consequently parts of Mid, North and East Wales are clear and sunny.

Tomorrow a cold front will cross Wales bringing rain and some fresh to strong winds with gales on the mountains. However, the rain and wind will clear away during the evening.

Saturday will be a cooler day with some rain and showers. Some heavy rain possible in the north but turning drier later.

Sunday will be colder with a few wintry showers but on the whole drier with some sunshine.

The start of next week looks promising, dry and settled thanks to high pressure with some frost and sunshine.

In Rome the weather will be fine and sunny for the Six Nations rugby on Saturday. After a frost, temperatures will rise to 10 Celsius in the afternoon with a chilly breeze.


Half term weather

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 16:03 UK time, Monday, 21 February 2011

It's half term this week but I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that there is more rain and drizzle on the way. I can however promise some dry and brighter spells too.


Snowdrops photographed on a walk around Chirk Castle by Carol Cresswell.

Snowdrops photographed on a walk around Chirk Castle by Carol Cresswell.


It's also going to turn milder unlike today where in Wrexham it only reached a chilly 6 Celsius. On Thursday however, a spring-like 14 Celsius is on the cards as south-westerly winds should bring warmer air from the Azores.

However, given that the sea is still relatively cold around our shores, it won't be that warm along the south and west coast as a breeze will come in off the sea.

10 Celsius will be nearer the mark in places like Mumbles, Newgale, Barmouth and Aberffraw on Anglesey. So it's not all doom and gloom but you may want to wrap up warm if you're going out, especially if you live by the coast.


One step closer

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:14 UK time, Monday, 21 February 2011

Story on News Online today about more of the all Wales coastal footpath being completed.

A new half mile route has opened up linking Amroth to Ynyslas, north of Aberystwyth. The ambitious plan is to have the 850 mile coastal path completed by summer 2012.

Closer to home I did notice the other day that work is well under way in Porthcawl now, creating a path and apparently a cycle lane? that will link Rest Bay up with the Esplanade which I'm sure will very popular in the summer.

Do you live in an area with new sections of coastal path? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and see any photos you may have taken -


Weekend weather, 19-20 February

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:08 UK time, Friday, 18 February 2011

Spring was in the air yesterday with sunshine and above average temperatures for some. Trawsgoed and Pembrey both reached 11 Celsius, 52 Fahrenheit.

Mind you at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys it was cooler, only 5 Celsius there, with cloud and mist. Last night the temperature at Capel Curig in Snowdonia dropped to -1 Celsius with a frost.

Looking ahead, a frontal system currently over Ireland will move east bringing rain tonight and fresh to strong south-easterly winds but it will introduce milder air from the Atlantic over the weekend.

2011 Snowdrops by Susie Corwen

Snowdrops in February 2011 by Susie Corwen.

So this evening rain in Pembrokeshire will spread across the rest of the country. Some heavy rain is likely but it will dry-up in the south west later tonight. Lowest temperatures 4 to 7 Celsius so no frost tonight.

Tomorrow most of the country will start grey with low cloud, mist and hill fog. Light rain in the north and east first thing will clear during the morning.

I wouldn't rule out a light shower in the afternoon but most of the country will be dry and brighten up with some sunshine later.

However, parts of the south and west coast including Cardigan Bay may stay misty and murky. Top temperatures 8 to 11 Celsius so milder than recently with mainly light winds.

Tomorrow night will be dry with low cloud, with mist and fog patches forming. Milder on the coast but colder inland and a ground frost is possible.

Sunday will start off grey with low cloud, mist and fog patches. Some poor visibility is likely, especially on the Brecon Beacons, The Black Mountains and on the hills of Powys.

The odd spot of drizzle is possible too but otherwise dry. During the day it will brighten-up in places e.g. The north coast.

However, some rain and showers may spread across the country in the evening. Highest temperatures 7 to 10 Celsius with a south-easterly breeze picking-up.

Gull has been in touch and informs me that the surf is looking good again this weekend with mainly light winds on Saturday.

A lone surfer takes on a large wave yesterday in Porthcawl. Image by Gull

A lone surfer takes on a large wave yesterday in Porthcawl. Image by Gull.

On Sunday the wind will turn south-easterly and pick-up, going offshore as the next swell builds so there should be plenty of surf about all weekend, peaking on Sunday around 4-5ft.

High tide is in the morning but the tides are going to be large all weekend as there is a new full moon. The sea temperature is hovering between 6-8 degrees Celsius depending on where you live - warmer in Pembrokeshire!

There is also a 4* Severn Bore on Sunday and a slightly smaller tide on Monday so keep an eye out for videos of that being surfed online, as it's always amazing to watch.

Watch a video clip of the Severn Bore in action.


The wind chill factor

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:11 UK time, Tuesday, 15 February 2011

It's feeling chilly today with fresh to strong winds and heavy showers and cold enough for snow on the mountains.

At the time of writing, the temperature in Llanberis is 8 deg;C Celsius but at Clogwyn station, a mile below the summit of Snowdon, on the Snowdon Mountain Railway the temperature is below freezing with a severe wind-chill.

As a rule of thumb, the higher you go the colder, wetter and windier it gets and when air is forced to rise, it always cools.

Snow on the wind farm above Llandinam by Bill Pugh, Y-Fan.

I took this photo today of a slight dusting of hail/sleet/snow on the wind farm above Llandinam. Image by Bill Pugh.

The rate of cooling isn't constant but on average, temperature drops by around 2 deg C per 300 m (1,000 ft) of ascent. This means that at the summit, the temperature will be much cooler than in the valley below.

At 900 m (3000 ft) the wind speed is on average double that on low ground, and the overall wind-chill effect on a wet or perspiring human body can be very large. A wind of 40 mph and an air temperature of 3 °C will give a wind-chill temperature of -10 deg C.

Snow on Snowdonia - Image by Brian Wakeham

Snow on Snowdonia again above Llyn Padarn with the 'window' in the Llanberis Pass which means more rain for us locals. Image by Brian Wakeham.

Mountains produce a number of potentially hazardous weather phenomena including: gales, storm-force winds, persistent heavy rain or blizzards raging at the summit whilst it's calm lower down.

You might also encounter ice and snow lasting well into spring and summer, especially on north-facing slopes away from the warmth of the sun.

So, do take care if you're heading off for a mountain walk. It really pays to be prepared for all weather conditions if you're out trekking at any time of the year but especially so in winter.

You can get the latest weather forecasts for Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

South Snowdonia Mountain Rescue

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team

A Blorenge coloured rainbow

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 15:48 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011

I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed the rugby!

I made the most of the fine weather on Saturday and went for a 6.5 mile walk near Blaenavon, climbing to the top of the Blorenge.

This walk brought back memories of when I filmed here in the snow for Weatherman Walking a few years ago.

No snow this time round, just the odd rain shower, sunshine and wonderful views of Abergavenny, the Black Mountains and beyond.

Taken from the Blorenge, looking towards Abergavenny and the Skirrid. Images by Derek Brockway.

Taken from the Blorenge, looking towards Abergavenny and the Skirrid. Image by Derek Brockway.

There were definitely signs of spring in the air with catkins on the trees but we haven't seen the last of winter yet.

It maybe St. Valentine's Day today but there is no warmth in the air for lovers, with temperatures only 4 to 8 Celsius across the country.

If you're planning a romantic stroll this week, you will need to cwtch-up and remember the thermals as it will be cold, wet and windy at times, with sleet and snow likely on the higher hills and mountains.


Surfing tsunamis

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:15 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011

This weekend saw back to back surfing competitions being held at Rest Bay, Porthcawl as the Elusive Welsh Open and Tsunami Cup went ahead in big surf.

Surfers from all over Wales descended on Porthcawl for the the Elusive Welsh Open contest on Saturday  which was held in solid 4-6 foot + high surf

The event definitely warranted good waves having being postponed three times due to it being flat, so the organisers were well and truly blessed this time around.

Swansea surfer Lloyd George pulling into a tube during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

Swansea surfer Lloyd George pulling into a tube during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

The morning heats were tough with long, arduous paddle outs and strong rips making it difficult for competitors to even paddle out to contests their heats but despite a few snapped leashes everyone survived the onslaught.

There were even some barrels being ridden by Lloyd George from Swansea and Alex Morris from Pembrokeshire who took off on an absolute beast of wave, bottom turned and pulled deep inside a gaping tube before flying out the other side - much to the delight of everyone watching!

Alex Morrris on a good sized wave during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

Alex Morrris on a good sized wave during the contest. Image by Claire Beach.

In the afternoon, the wind eased, the sun came out and the surf cleaned up, making for some perfect contest waves. The event was eventually won by local surfer - George Schofield, so many congratulations to him.

On Sunday the Tsunami Cup contest took over. The surf was not as big or as clean as it had been on Sunday but despite the torrent of rain, competitors turned up and squelched their way through the mud to the beach.

I too had decided to throw my hat into the ring as it was for a good cause and I figured most of the other competitors would be hung over after watching the Six Nations rugby ;)

The Tsunami Cup has been running since 2005 when the Boxing Day tsunami hit and local surfers decided to get together to raise money for the villages affected - many of which once stood in popular surf locations.

The moderate southerly wind eventually eased and turned light south westerly as the first heat paddled out into 4-5ft surf around 10.30am.

The paddle out was hard going as there weren't any real lulls in the surf so by the time we paddled out, everyone was shattered. With 10 minutes allocated for paddling out and 15 minute heats running back to back, there wasn't much time for a rest in between, if you progressed.

Eventual winner, George Schofield on a chunky wave during the Tsunami Cup. Image by Adrian Lincoln at

Eventual winner, George Schofield on a chunky wave during the Tsunami Cup. Image by Adrian Lincoln at

I scraped though a couple of rounds to make the semi finals but as one of the erm... 'older' competitors in the event - my competition fitness was somewhat lacking, so my tank was well and truly empty for my third and final heat.

It was good fun anyway and was all about raising money for a good cause. Well done to the Welsh Coast Surf Club and Christian Surfers UK for doing such a sterling job with the organisation, catering and judging on a wet and windy Sunday morning.

I'm not sure who the overall winners were (Open, Juniors and Longboard) as I had to go home and collapse but will add this information as and when I get it.

More good news for surfers this week, as deep low pressure in the Atlantic looks set to batter our coastline with more big waves.


Weekend weather and the Foehn Effect

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 14:29 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

The weather's been a bit up and down this week. Fine one day, rain the next, and quite mild. Yesterday Bodelwyddan in Denbighshire reached 12.7 Celsius, 55 Fahrenheit with a southerly breeze, making it the warmest place in Britain. The rise in temperature was partly due to the Foehn effect whereby, in this case, warm moist air blowing across the Snowdonia mountains dries out and warms as it descends on the other side.

The north Wales coast has had some notable out-of-season heat-waves, thanks to the Foehn effect. Aber, near Llandudno, has recorded 18.3 Celsius in January and 21.3 Celsius in November, while in February 1998, 18.1 Celsius was recorded in Prestatyn.

Tomorrow will continue mild with some rain late morning and during the afternoon. This will clear on Friday evening leaving a dry and colder night with a touch of ground frost.

Saturday will be a decent day, with the odd shower in places but otherwise dry with bright skies, sunshine and feeling fresher. Highs of seven to nine Celsius with a light to moderate west to south-westerly breeze backing southerly later and freshening.

If you're heading to Scotland for the rugby, expect some rain in Edinburgh on Friday afternoon and on Friday night but this will clear leaving Saturday dry with some sunshine. Highs around seven Celsius so not too cold.

On Sunday it's all change again. Wet and breezy in the morning with fresh to strong winds but turning drier and brighter during the afternoon with a couple of showers.

So Saturday's the best day of the weekend for going for a walk - I may see you up the Blorenge!

Lastly, here's a lovely photo of the Wye Valley from the top of Clyro Hill, sent in by Beth Clarke:

Wye Valley by Beth Clarke

Wye Valley by Beth Clarke


Castles of Wales

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 12:10 UK time, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Our BBC Wales Nature & Outdoors Flickr group are always out there, snapping away and taking amazing pictures from around Wales but it's not all seagulls and squirrels.

We also get some terrific landscape shots, castles, mountains and rivers name - we probably have it!

So, I've put together a gallery featuring a few castles in Wales.

Conwy Castle and swans by Ian Owen

Conwy Castle and swans by Ian Owen

I've been reliably informed that we have around 427 castles in Wales - not bad for such a small country but then again castles were built for a specific purpose and we all knew about King Edward I and his "iron ring of castles"...

Take a look at the new gallery and feel free to send in some more either via the Flickr group or by email to

Please send in hi-resolution versions of your digital photos or we can't use them online.

To find out more about castles in Wales, take a look at the BBC Wales History website.


Floods and storms

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:27 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

It's been a wet few days in mid and north Wales with some flooding. At Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, 189.4mm of rain has fallen since the beginning of the month, more than than the February average which is 138.7mm.

Some rivers are swollen and at the time of writing there are three flood warnings in the lower and upper Dee Valley and at Bangor on Dee. We've had some amazing photos sent in too, with the River Dee resembling a raging torrent.

A local fireman saving a sheep in the flood at Bangor-on-Dee. Image by Joe Hughes.

A local fireman saving a sheep in the flood at Bangor-on-Dee this morning. Image by Joe Hughes.

The wind has also been a big feature recently with strong to severe gale force again today with gusts between 50 and 70mph and 84 mph at Aberdaron on the Lleyn Peninsula.

Flooding in Bangor on Dee today. Image by Ian Humphreys.

Flooding in Bangor on Dee today. Image by Ian Humphreys.

The strong winds will gradually ease during the rest of today and tonight will become dry with light winds but colder than recently with a slight frost.

The River Dee on Sunday, 6 February showing the highest water level since 1964. Image by Colin Roberts.

The River Dee on Sunday, 6 February 2011 showing the highest recorded water level since 1964. Image by Colin Roberts.

Tomorrow most of the day will be dry and bright with some sunshine thanks to a ridge of high pressure but make the most of it, because the day will end damp and breezy with a warm front bringing more cloud and rain in from the Atlantic.

The rest of the week will be very changeable with rain at times. However, it should dry and brighten-up on Thursday before the next batch of rain arrives!

There is a hint that a large blocking anticyclone will build over Scandinavia from 11 February onwards so it could turn much colder later in the month with easterly winds.

Remember the 2009 November floods? See the pictures.


Breaking the habit

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 09:53 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

We might just see another Welsh island stronghold for red squirrels in the not so distant future..

Those wise monks on Caldey Island, off the coast of Tenby have devised plans to re-introduce red squirrels to the island.

Caldey Island by Tracey Cole

Caldey Island by Tracey Cole.

It's generally agreed by everyone involved that this would be a great idea as there are no grey squirrels or other predators on the island, so it could become the perfect stronghold for red squirrels once established.

Government ministers have now backed the plan after it was raised in Parliament by South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart, so for now, we'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Fingers crossed as I've yet to see a red squirrel in the wild and Tenby is a lot closer for me to travel to than Anglesey!


Gale force winds buffet Wales

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:08 UK time, Friday, 4 February 2011

It's very blustery out there today with strong to severe gale force south-westerly winds buffeting Wales.

Maximum gusts recorded up until 1200 hours today:

  • Aberdaron: 77mph
  • Lake Vyrnwy: 74mph
  • Capel Curig: 66mph
  • Aberporth: 62mph
  • Hawarden: 57mph
  • RAF Valley: 53mph
  • Mumbles Head: 53mph
  • Pembrey: 50mph
  • St Athan: 48mph
  • Bodelwyddan: 47mph
  • Tirabad: 45mph
  • Trawsgoed: 43mph
  • Milford Haven: 42mph
  • Cardiff Airport: 39mph

The strong to gale force winds will continue during the rest of today and tonight. So if you're travelling to Cardiff for the big rugby match this evening take care, driving conditions will be tricky, especially for high sided vehicles with strong cross winds and speed restrictions on some bridges.

More strong winds are likely in south Wales tomorrow. In the north, the wind should ease tomorrow, falling light for a time, but the wind is predicted to pick-up again during Sunday afternoon and evening becoming fresh to strong.

Further rain and drizzle is expected over the weekend too, especially in the north and west and mid Wales. The rain heaviest on the hills, the Cambrian Mountains and in Snowdonia with a few inches of rain likely by the end of the weekend.

See the latest severe weather warnings from the Met Office website.

Next week, more rain is forecast on Monday with a risk of localised flooding but there is light at the end of the tunnel, Tuesday should be much drier and brighter; colder too with light winds, some mist and a slight frost.


According to the Mabinogion...

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 14:41 UK time, Thursday, 3 February 2011

The National Trust has recently completed vital work to tackle erosion at an important historic site on the Gwynedd coast.

Bwncan Dinas Dinlle is a 3,000 year old hill fort, built for status and defence in the Iron Age.

The name Dinas Dinlle derives from 'Din' meaning fort and 'lle' derived from Lleu. According to the Mabinogion it was here that the warrior and magician Lleu Llaw Gyffes was brought up.

At that time, Dinas Dinlle was some distance from the coast, but the western part of the fort has now been lost to the sea, and is denoted a Site of Special Scientific Interest because the exposed cliffs show the different layers of glacial deposits.

National Trust Warden for Eifionydd, Dave Smith, said: "The erosion by the sea is not something that we can influence, but there was a deep erosion scar on the northern rampart which had been caused by walkers."

"To tackle this, we first built a footpath leading around the problem area. The path has proven popular, and has taken pressure off the eroding rampart, allowing us to repair it."

Groundhog Day

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:36 UK time, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Today, February 2nd, is Candlemas Day - a traditional Christian festival.

It was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people and a lighted candle was placed in churches and windows to brighten up the dark winter nights.

In Pagan times, it was known as the 'feast of lights' and celebrated the mid point of winter, half-way between the shortest day in December and the spring equinox in March.

In the United States and Canada, Candlemas Day is better known as 'Groundhog Day' - made famous by the film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

In the United States and Canada, Candlemas Day is better known as 'Groundhog Day' - made famous by the film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Yes, it's definitely Groundhog Day ;)

According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow and winter will soon end.

If it's sunny, the groundhog will see its shadow and go back into its burrow for another nap, and winter will carry on for another six weeks!

Some people believe that the weather on Candlemas Day can tell us what the rest of the winter will be like and there's an old rhyme:

'If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have another fight but if Candlemas Day be clouds and rain, winter is gone and will not come again.'

Well, it is raining today but it would be a brave person who says that winter is over...

There is no sign of any more heavy snow on the horizon, at least in the next two weeks, but of course it can snow in March and snow is more common at Easter than at Christmas.

In the meantime, I can promise a drier and brighter day tomorrow with some sunshine but make the most of it, because there is more wet and windy weather on the way later this week. Some heavy rain is likely too with strong to severe gale force winds but nothing compared to what Cyclone Yasi will be unleashing on Northern Queensland shortly.


How far down does the ground freeze?

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Derek Brockway Derek Brockway | 13:57 UK time, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I had a very interesting question from my News Editor yesterday.

She wanted to know how far down the ground freezes?

I didn't ask why she wanted to know, but thought I'd better find out and do some research to keep my boss happy!

Basically, it depends on a few things:

  • How cold the air temperature gets
  • How long the air temperature stays below freezing
  • Whether there is snow cover (and how deep it is)

Long cold spells with no snow cover can cause the ground to freeze to a few feet whereas if there's persistent snow cover, the ground may only freeze to a few inches deep.

In the Arctic the ground may be permanently frozen for thousands of feet!

I later discovered that the reason my editor wanted to know was because she was concerned about her tortoises who are currently hibernating three feet under the ground in the garden.

I reassured here that, although it's been very cold and frosty recently (with some low night-time temperatures), the ground is probably not frozen more than an inch or so deep (if at all), because temperatures during the day have risen above freezing thanks to some sunshine.

So hopefully her tortoises, who slept through the coldest December for at least 100 years, will emerge from their sleep, healthy and happy in the spring.


A golden moment

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 11:26 UK time, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Golden eagle spotted in Mid Wales.

The RSPB said the rare bird, spotted in the skies above Pontrhydygroes, near Aberystwyth, could have escaped from captivity or might have just lost its way.

It's not the first time we've had golden eagles circling over Wales and in the past sightings have been reported over Cardiff, Bridgend and Cwmllinau but most are thought to be escapees.

See more birds of prey on BBC Wales Nature & Outdoors.

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