February 8, 2016

Storm Imogen Brings Winds and Swells to SW England

Storm Imogen arrived overnight, announcing her appearance with thunder and lightning here in the Haldon Hills. Now that the sun has risen, here's how the surf on the north coast looks at Woolacombe, courtesy of Trev Lumley of Eyeball Surfcheck:

The Eyeball live surfcam isn't completely lathered in spray like most of the others, and you can see it shaking in the gusting winds. Here's a snapshot:

Trev's eminently sound advice is:

Completely and utterly BLOWN-OUT folks, with gale to severe gale onshore Westerly winds.

Don't even think about it dudes as in I hope it goes without saying that such conditions are rare and extreme caution needs to be taken before even thinking about entering even the most extreme sheltered breaks.

Meanwhile further out into the North Atlantic Ocean some buoys are bobbing about in the incoming swell, as is the Sevenstones lightship. Here's what she's reporting at the moment, courtesy of Magic Seaweed:

Moving on to those winds, here is the latest weather report from RAF Culdrose, just down the North Devon coast from Woolacombe, courtesy of Weather Underground:

Finally, for the moment at least, there are currently 27 flood warnings and 74 flood alerts across Soggy South-West England.

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Comments on Storm Imogen Brings Winds and Swells to SW England »

February 8, 2016

Jim @ 11:56 pm

The day is almost done and Imogen has done her worst, in South-West England at least. Here's a picture of her earlier today, taken by the Terra satellite:

Here's the history of the wind over the Sevenstones lightship:

and here's what the waves did:

Here's the recent weather report from RAF Culdrose:

and here's one from Bridford, just the other side of the Teign Valley from Great Haldon:

Finally, for tonight at least, here's how our flood widget looked earlier this evening:

February 9, 2016

Jim @ 12:15 pm

The Rangers at Haldon Forest Park have finished walking the trails and assessing the damage caused by Storm Imogen. They tell me that the car park and some of the trails are now open again. In particular the "Discovery" and "Butterfly" walking paths are open, together with the light blue "Spicers" mountain bike trail.

However fallen trees are still blocking the dark blue "Kiddens" bike trail, which will hopefully reopen later this afternoon. The "red" and "black" bike trails will almost certainly not reopen until tomorrow.

Weather permitting I'll try out the "blue run" later this afternoon, but for the moment here's how things on Haldon Hill look from my "back yard":

Jim @ 7:30 pm

I cycled up to the top of the hill to talk to the Haldon Forest Park rangers. They changed their board especially for me!

Here's a few more piccies from my subsequent exploration of the Spicers and Discovery trails:

There were quite a few horizontal trees to be seen, as well as ultimately a beautiful sunset from the Haldon Belvedere:

The calm before yet another storm?

February 10, 2016

Jim @ 7:01 pm

I went for another bike ride this afternoon, which turned into more of a yomp. Intent on photographing Great Haldon from a distance:

I couldn't help but notice these alien objects blocking a gate:

If you look closely you can just about make out the bramble that punctured my front inner tube. Since I was now on foot I figured I'd take a "shortcut" home via Idestone Barton using the public footpath:

Crossing the farmyard I met Mike Howson, and enquired about the state of the farm in general and the footpath in particular. Mike told me that he'd been farming there for over 20 years and that this winter was by far the wettest he had ever experienced. He has 400 sheep, and as soon as they are let loose on a patch of grass it turns to mud:

Mike wished me well on my cross country trek but he did warn me that "the field is steep!" Here's photographic evidence proving that is indeed the case. Even on a steep slope the grass is swimming in a sea of mud, and I'd never have made it up the hill without a strategically positioned bicycle to support me:

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