UK Weather Rain and Snow Radar

Flooding in Sigginstone, South WalesWith all this bad weather we’re having at the moment I’ve found that the UK Met. Office’s rain radar service has been invaluable to see where the really heavy rain and snow is.

It updates every 30 minutes and even has an animated sequence of images over the past 6 hours or so so you can see the direction that the rain clouds are moving.

It’s really cool and can be found here – http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/radar/index.html

It covers the UK, Ireland, North France and North Belgium.

Update: Thursday 16th December 2010 – you may find this new page useful – http://www.south-wales.org/2010/useful-information-for-south-wales-snow/

Traffic queues on the M25

M4 Motorway Traffic Cams

I guess that with all this snow predicted over the next few days then the M4 traffic cam network will be working overtime.

If you want to have a quick look at traffic and snow conditions on the M4 motorway over the next few days then there is a good summary page for South East Wales with links to individual M4 webcams to be found on the BBC here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/southeastwales/trafficcameras

A similar traffic cam page for South West Wales can be found here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/southwestwales/trafficcameras

The BBC also has a good summary page on the current situation on the national motorway network here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/local/motorways.shtml.

There is also a local page listing all road closures and holdups in South East Wales here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/southeastwales

Update: Thursday 16th December 2010 – you may find this new page useful – http://www.south-wales.org/2010/useful-information-for-south-wales-snow/

M25 photo above Copyright: Andrew Dixon, http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrew74/ with thanks.

Langland Bay Surfing – Watch out!

Langland Bay Surfing - Scared surferI took this picture down in Langland Bay last summer.  It’s a favourite spot for surfers in the Gower and the wind was really strong on this day so the surf was up.

I got some good action shots using a long lens.

This guy was quite a way out and I took the picture hand-held so it’s a bit unsharp but the you can see the fear on the guy’s face!  Much better than I can do though!

Click on the photo for a better view.

Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

View across Three Cliffs Bay, GowerOver the Christmas holiday period we had a trip to Pennard on the Gower.  We walked across the Pennard Golf Course to the ruins of Pennard Castle. The ruins date from the 13th century.

If you fancy the walk to the castle then park in Linkside Drive (marked on this map). Park near the village shop.

As you walk across the golf course and the sand dunes then you get a great view across to the headland at Oxwich.

As you walk a bit further then you come to the castle itself. It’s an impressive ruin and is doing well for itself considering that it’s over 700 years old! read more

Red Fox Inn, Penllyn near Cowbridge

Last night we fancied avoiding cooking and decided to go out to a local pub.  We wanted to avoid Cowbridge since we guessed that it would be very busy on one of the last Friday’s before Christmas.

A friend recommended the Red Fox Inn in the village of Penllyn just off the A48 near Cowbridge.  The pub used to be owned by Peter Karrie of Phantom of the Opera fame.

The pub has always had a good reputation and is now run by Georgina and Richard who have lots of experience behind them in the hotel business. read more

Sigginstone Plane Crash March 12th 1950

The village of Sigginstone (or Sigingstone) near Cowbridge is famous for two things – the Victoria Inn pub and the Llandow Plane Crash.

On Sunday March 12th 1950 an Avro Tudor V was returning from Dublin with 78 rugby supporters on board.  The previous day Wales had won the coverted Triple Crown in Belfast.  75 passengers and all 5 crew were killed. read more

Cardiff Bay Sunset with Jupiter and Venus

After several days of grey and gloom there was an amazing sunset in Cardiff Bay tonight – a gradual change from blue to black in the sky colour, but most amazing of all was that two planets were easily visible.

In the photo you can see Venus to the lower right (almost in the centre of the frame) and Jupiter above and to the left.  Venus is currently about 1.09AU (astronomical units) away – that’s about 101,321,918 miles!  Jupiter is about 5.66AU away – that’s about 526,130,324 miles!!

Click on the photo for a bigger view. read more

Cardiff Bay Sunset

The light was pretty amazing in Cardiff Bay today especially at sunset.  I wandered out in front of the Senydd and took a few shots of the sky and the setting sun.

The clouds had some pretty amazing shapes and the St David’s Hotel and the surrounding apartment blocks looked great in silhouette. read more

2nd Severn Crossing

Strangely enough we found ourselves going across the Severn again this week and decided to cross on the original Severn Bridge.  The photo on the left shows the 2nd Severn Crossing in the distance.  The old bridge is being maintained again, as has been common over the last 30 years or so.  Luckily the new bridge means that the old bridge is pretty quiet these days.

Sunrise behind the Severn Bridge

View of the sunrise behind the 2nd Severn Crossing 4th October 2008Not a very good photo I’m afraid but we were driving up to London yesterday and there was an amazing sunrise.  We were just approaching the 2nd Severn Crossing on the M4 and so we managed to catch the sunrise just peaking through the bridge.  The motorway was pretty quiet at 7am !!!!

Welsh Medal Winners Welcome Home

Photo of Sean Nicole Cooke's cousin copyright Paul Thomas 2008Today was a great day for Wales in Cardiff Bay – the return of the Wales Olympic gold medal winners Nicole Cooke, Tom James and Geraint Thomas and silver medal winner David Davies.

I must admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for Nicole Cooke since she comes from close to where I live.  She’s from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan.  The welcoming crowd in Cardiff Bay today seemed to agree – the biggest cheer was saved for Nicole though the organisers had arranged for her to be presented to the crowd last of all.

The photo at the top is of Nicole’s cousin Sean who came down to Cardiff to welcome her. read more

Llantwit Major Sunset

We had a quick run down to Llantwit Major beach last night.  It was probably one of the best evenings that we have had for quite a while, and the evening light was amazing.

The beach was quite quiet which was surprising considering that it was the start of the holiday weekend.  There were a 3 or 4 camper vans parked up in the valley leading to the beach, and just a few cars and that was it.