BBC Wales' inimitable weatherman Derek Brockway is
bringing his Weather Tour of Wales to Newport city
centre next Tuesday (29 June 2004).
Derek will be at the BBC Wales Community Studio (43-44 High St, Newport)
As well as getting a free meteorological masterclass from the man himself,
visitors will have the chance to make their very own one-minute weather
forecast, with the best ones broadcast on digital service BBC 2W.
Derek also has a stack of fascinating facts up his sleeve, ready to
front his first solo TV show Derek's Welsh Weather
(starts Monday 28 June, BBC ONE Wales).
Covering each of the four seasons in turn, the man who brings his enthusiasm
to Wales Today viewers each night is hoping to spark the kind of interest
in weather he's had since childhood.
"Gossiping about the weather is a national pastime," he says.
"Surrounded by sea, and with high mountains and deep valleys,
we often say that we can get all four seasons in one day in Wales.
"There's always something to talk about and no two days are the
same - that's what makes it so interesting."
Derek's Welsh Weather explains why the weather works the way it does,
how it's shaped Wales, and how our livelihoods - and indeed our lives
- are dependent on it.
He also shows how he compiles his forecasts based on thousands of
pieces of information from ships, satellites, balloons and dozens of
very local stations scattered throughout Wales recording wind, rainfall
"The Met Office computer gives me the big picture, but since it
can be sunny in Porth and raining in Pontypridd, a little local knowledge
helps," he says.
Throughout the series, Derek will be charting the history of the Welsh
climate with his Top Ten countdown of Weather Events, season by season,
drawn from 150 years of Met Office records.
The first programme in the series looks at summer.
Derek's Top Ten Summers:
10. The Summers of the 1990s - the hottest decade in history;
9. The Molten Pigs of 1911 - a very, very, hot summer;
8. 29 July 1999 - a tropical storm with flash flooding;
7. 1816 - the year without a summer, caused by a volcanic eruption
in the East Indies;
6. The Red Dust of June 1968 - blown over to Wales from Spain or North
5. August Bank Holiday 1986 - the tail end of Hurricane Charley lashes
Wales, creating the wettest August Bank Holiday on record;
4. 2 August 1990 - Welsh record temperature of 35.2 C at Hawarden Bridge;
3. The heat wave of August 2003 - including the 'hottest day in history';
2. Summer Twisters - caught on camera;
1. 1976 - the long, hot summer which ignited Derek's passion for weather.
Derek's Welsh Weather is made for BBC Wales by Green Bay Media Limited.
Derek's Welsh Weather starts on Monday 28 June, BBC ONE Wales at 7.30pm.
It is repeated on Wednesday 30 June on the digital service BBC 2W at