Images – 2018

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Sunday 30th December 2018  –  Tropical Storm threat to Gulf of Thailand

A tropical storm that is currently developing in the southern part of the South China Sea is expected to move west and is very likely to enter the Gulf of Thailand. By 1200z on Tue 1st Jan it is forecast to have Force 10 winds in its circulation with seas to 6m. If it maintains its identity for long enough it will become a threat to some coastal areas. One to watch.







Tuesday 18th December 2018  –  Tropical Cyclone in South Indian Ocean

A tropical cyclone developing NE of Madagascar might well turn out to be of great significance in a few days time. It is expected to move initially SW then turn towards the SSE, intensifying all the while. Its predicted track would take it perilously close to Mauritius. A slight alteration in track could easily bring Reunion into the firing line.


Reunion 1

Reunion 2

Reunion 4

Reunion 6

Monday 17th December 2018

A developing low currently centred just south of Nova Scotia looks like it’ll give Newfoundland and SE Labrador a bit of a winter pasting over the next couple of days.

Nove Scotia




Sunday 16th December 2018 – ex-Tropical Cyclone “Owen”

In Australia, ex-Tropical Cyclone “Owen” has made another crossing of the Cape Yorke Peninsula, this time from west to east. The remnants of “Owen” were centred just off the Queensland coast, NE of Bowen, at 1200z today. Although there are no longer any strong winds associated with the system it is still producing some extremely high rainfall totals. Top of the bunch was Halifax, near Ingham, about 55 miles NW of Townsville. In the 24-hours to 9 a.m. local time today Halifax measured 681 mm of rain. It is thought that it may be the highest 09-09 LT daily total on record for December in Australia. It makes UK ‘wet’ days fade into insignificance.



Saturday 15th December 2018

A tropical storm currently centred over the Bay of Bengal, to the NE of Sri Lanka has winds up to 40 knots on its northen side with significant wave heights approaching 6 metres. The storm is expected to move NW with little change in intensity, making landfall on the Andhra Pradesh coast on Monday. This is not a major cyclone but it will have a significant impact on a relatively small coastal area when it does make landfall. If only one house is destroyed it’s devastating if it’s ‘your’ house.

Bengal cyclone

Bengal anal

Bengal prog

Thursday 13th December 2018 – Tropical Cyclone “Owen”

Tropical Cyclone “Owen” is keeping forecasters busy in Australia. “Owen” formed some days ago in the Coral Sea, south of Papua New Guinea. It moved west and weakened substantially as it crossed the Cape York Peninsula then re-intensified as it moved west across the Gulf of Carpentaria. Then, when it was just south of Groote Eyland it stalled and has now started to move back eastwards. It currently has maximum sustained winds of 75 knots and these are predicted to strengthen to 90 knots during Friday while the centre remains over water.


Owen 2

Monday 10th December 2018

A remarkable example of sun pillars recently in freezing fog in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin light pillars

Friday 7th December 2018 – Low centre off NW Scotland

A very impressive low pressure circulation off NW Scotland today, producing gales over coastal areas.

Low off NW Scotland

Thursday 6th December 2018 – Air pollution over India

Parts of India have been badly affected by air pollution over the past days and weeks.. Today’s satellite image clearly shows the extent of the pollution. Not at all pleasant to have to live with.


Tuesday 4th December 2018 – Sierra Nevada Mountains, Spain

The Sierra Nevada mountains in SE Spain rise to a height of more than 3500 metres. Although only about 150 miles from Gibraltar and 60 miles from Almeria they support a thriving winter sports industry. At this time of year, these mountains are snow-covered, as can be seen from today’s satellite imagery.

Sierra 1

Sierra 2

Monday 3rd December 2018 – Putting UK rainfall into some sort of context

In the UK we are currently in a run of very unsettled weather, seemingly producing spells of wet weather every other day. Weather forecasts are full of phrases like ” Another very wet day to come”. However, a “wet” day here is usually no more than a few tens of millimetres. A wet month is in the low hundreds of millimetres.

In contrast, the supposedly dry continent of Australia suffers heavy rainfall events of a magnitude that are almost incomprehensible to anyone whose sole experience is the UK.

The table below, produced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, is very instructive.

Australia rainfall

Sunday 2nd December – Tropical Storm “Owen”

Tropical Storm “Owen” is currently centred SE of PapuaNewGuinea and far to the east of the North Queensland coast of Australia. It currently has maximum 10-min mean winds of about 40 knots. Some slight intensification is expected over the next 24 hours as it drifts westwards but after that it is expected to weaken. It is not expected to threaten land.

Australia cyclone

Friday 30th November 2018 – Global Warming

Over the months and years we have been bombarded with graphs and images about global warming. At risk of generating some “Oh No – not more!” responses, I think the following two graphs just issued by the WMO are worthy of examination.

There is obvious evidence of “noise” in the graphs but no signs of any decrease in the overall rate of rise. It seems inevitable to me that these graphs are going to keep rising to the point where really catastrophic impacts will result. No political pontificating about reducing emissions is likely to have any effect quickly enough to prevent this. The human race will have to find a way of adapting to a whole new climate regime. This is an issue that is orders of magnitude more important than Brexit. Probably not a problem for me but potentially for my children and certainly for my grand-daughter.

Global temperature rise

Mean sea level rise

Thursday 29th November 2018 – Queensland bushfires

Over the past week the eastern part of Queensland, Australia has been experiencing extreme heatwave conditions. One result of this has been the outbreak of bushfires over a very wide area. The satellite image below, for the middle of today local time, clearly shows the smoke from these fires. One thing that caught my attention is that the winds are W-SW rather than the much more usual SE-NE winds in that part of Queensland. No doubt this has been a factor in the development of the heatwave conditions.

Qld fires3

Wednesday 28th November 2018 – Maritime convection

Today, a cold NWly airstream is blowing from inland NE USA and SE Canada out across the mid-Atlantic coast of the USA (see first image below). As this cold air streams over the relatively warm sea convection currents are induced, resulting in the development of cumulus cloud. The convection tends to form in distinct lines and gets progressively deeper as the air move further offshore (see second image). Nature and physics at work.

SFC anal


Tuesday 27th November 2018 – Air Pollution in China

A couple of different example of air pollution in China. The first shows a recent occurrence of smog in Tianjin which is on the shores of the Gulf of Bohai about 70 miles SE of Beijing.

Smog in Tianjin

The second image is from Zhangye, in Gansu Province in the north of China. It shows the approach of a dust storm in recent days.

China sandstorm

While looking for the location of Zhangye I found that it’s located in a very spectacular area. Of particular note are the Rainbow Mountains. They are very well named as can be seen below.

Rainbow Mountains

Monday 26th November 2018 – Queensland Heatwave

Parts of central and northern Queensland in Australia have been experiencing a heatwave unprecedented for November. The table below, including maximum temperatures for today, shows just how extreme the temperatures are. This is in very sharp contrast to the late season snow that has been affecting the mountain regions of NE Victoria.

Queensland temps

Sunday 25th November 2018

A couple of items for you today.

Firstly, I’m sure that most people have heard of the tidal bore that occurs on the River Severn. While that may be the most famous example in this country, bores do occur on other rivers. One such is the River Nith in Dumfries & Galloway. The Nith is the river that flows through the centre of Dumfries. The link below is to a very atmosperic video of the tidal bore on the River Nith this morning.

Tidal bore on the River Nith

Much further away lie the Falkland Islands. These islands are noted for their unsettled and often cloudy, windy weather. Today, the islands have been experiencing much clearer weather. The satellite image below shows them to be unusually cloud-free.

Falkland Islands

Saturday 24th November 2018

Recently, there has been quite a bit of flooding over parts of the Middle East. This pattern looks set to continue over the next couple of weeks as the animation below shows, especially in the Arabian Gulf area during the first part of the period. The animation shows the predicted accumulating rainfall totals during the next 2 weeks.

Middle East rain

Friday 23rd November 2018 (part 2)

Just had to throw this one in as an extra. Remarkable flooding in Saudi Arabia.

Click here

Friday 23rd November 2018

It’s a very cold morning in the New York area with temperature mostly between -5°C and -10°C. Air from the Arctic swept SE across the area over the past day or two and there’s now a high pressure centre located right on top of the area. Click links below for images:


Surface analysis

Thursday 22nd November 2018

Today I’ve got a bunch of photos I took this afternoon on a murky, misty, drizzly day at Ladybower Reservoir. The reason for the visit was to have a look at the ruins of the village of Derwent which was submerged when the Ladybower Reservoir was filled in 1944. Very occasionally, the level of the reservoir falls sufficiently for the remains of the village to be revealed. At present, thanks to the very dry summer, the reservoir is at an exceptionally low level so much of what remains can be seen. The last time I saw any of the village was in October 1989 but the water wasn’t as low then as it is now.

Another village, Ashopton, was also submerged in 1944 but it was further down the valley and is in deeper water than Derwent. The water never falls low enough for Ashopton to be visible.

A Google search on Derwent and Ashopton produces many photos of the villages before the building of the Ladybower Dam.














Wednesday 21st November 2018

An early taste of winter in the Peak District this morning. The first 2 photos are the Snake Pass between Glossop and the Derwent dams. The third one is at the Cat & Fiddle (515m) between Buxton and Macclesfield while the last one is the view eastwards towards Kinder Scout from just outside Hayfield.

Snake Pass2

Snake Pass

Cat & Fiddle


Tuesday 20th November 2018

A cold front moved east across SE Australia today. The front crossed Melbourne in late afternoon local time, producing a near-instantaneous fall in temperature from 27° to 17°. We don’t see such dramatic cold fronts in the UK!

Australia satpic

Melbourne cool change

Monday 19th November 2018

Three stunning pictures taken today by Simone Cicalini of rime on the Croce del Pratomagno at about 1600m in the mountains SE of Florence, Italy. Nature is wonderful!