Monday, 29 August 2011
The First Storm of Autumn?
Autumnal storms bring higher winds, colder temperatures and often the first snow. In the Scottish Highlands the first one usually occurs in late September or early October. This year it seems to have arrived a month early. The forecast for August 28th was for “unseasonal weather” with heavy rain, low temperatures and high winds and maybe snow on the summits. The first two certainly happened with steady rain all day and white streams of water running down the track outside our house. And with a late afternoon temperature of just 7ºC at 300 metres it could certainly have been snowing 800 or 900 metres higher up. The winds were gusty but not that strong, at least at this level. Gusts up to 65mph are forecast for the hills tomorrow, along with sleet. There was low thick cloud all day with even the lower hills completely hidden and the leaden sky and dull light along with the chill, damp air certainly made it feel like autumn.
The first autumn colours are appearing too. Rowan leaves are changing to russet and bronze and the berries are rich red. Birch leaves are beginning to fade with yellow tints appearing. The solid green of the high summer forest is breaking up, making for more varied and interesting tree cover.
Time soon to break out the cold weather clothing and think about adding hats and gloves to the rucksack.