Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Our crazy weather -4°C to +10°C in a day

Last week, I mentioned the weather forecast that suggested we’d hit +9°C by Friday, even though I was freezing as the temperature fell below 0°C as I wrote.

The weatherfolk are really rather clever, as I say fairly often nowadays, and the ones we should really be mocking and laughing at the naysayers who still think it is ‘kewl’ to poke fun at Met Office.

Not only did the temperature swing up and reach that promised +9°C, it carried on and hit +10°C.

Here’s my own local record, and the jump on Friday…

Outside temperature 10

Outside temperature 10

Sad to say, it’s not set to last, and I’ve been watching the longer forecasts slowly having their predictions reduced, with the local media now telling us we can expect a chillier week to come, and more of the white stuff too.

Oh well – at least it’s not a surprise.

Heavy snow forecast for Glasgow next week as cold weather continues

Although Monday is set to be bright and sunny, Tuesday will see the weather take a turn, with sleet turning into heavy snow by 9am. Temperatures will also remain around freezing, with highs of around 4°C and dropping as low as -4°C.

So, this one is still valid!

First Robin of Spring


27/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Snow hangs on

When I suggested the earlier snow would probably not last, I forgot to factor in the fact I NEED to go to the shops later, so that means it tried to hang on.

It tried to snow again, but by then it was coming down as slush since the temperature had already started to rise.

It’s up at +3°C (rising) and warm enough to melt the snow that lay in my rain gauge, which can’t detect snow, but now says we’ve had 1 mm of rain.

I was obliged to take a slightly different pic of the snow covered tree, which is no longer snow covered.

Snow goes

Snow goes

While paved ground is slushy now, grass and earth are reacting differently.

I’ve measured these (in the past) using an infra-red thermometer, and it’s intriguing to see the difference in ground temperature after a frosty night, as bare earth, grass, and paved ground all retain, and gain, heat at notably different rates.

Snow lies

Snow lies

Be interesting to see what it’s like when I eventually HAVE to go out, there has even been sunshine at times – but I won’t see any by then.

I don’t like to look TOO far ahead, but notice that all the weatherfolk agree on a temperature lift by the end of week, and show +9°C on Friday, with cold temperatures after that, but little below freezing.

Suits me, but I’d like it closer to 9 and 0!

22/01/2019 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Mair snaw!

I got lucky this morning.

A glance outside at 8 am suggesting it was snowing, and a look out the front window confirmed a mini-blizzard, heavy enough to lie.

However, in the time it took to fetch and wake up a camera, the snow had virtually stopped, and I suspect the temperature of +1°C (which had been up at +2°C until the snow fell) means that I wouldn’t have caught this pic if I’d not made it as far as a window until my more usual time of 9 or 10 am.

I might check later to confirm that the snow has gone (unless more fall).

Meantime, enjoy a nice Christmassy scene, albeit a month late!

Snowy Tree

Snowy Tree

*For non-Glaswegians: Mair Snaw = More Snow 🙂


22/01/2019 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

SNAW! – The weatherfolk were 100% right (again)

I have to admit to a loss of patience with the people who think it’s ‘kewl’ to mock a certain large and official institute in the UK that is responsible for weather recording and forecasting.

This dates back, I believe, to 1987 and a weather forecast which has been misrepresented ever since then by the media, as an excuse to get a cheap laugh by mocking the forecaster who presented that forecast.

NOT so widely shown by the media is an ACCURATE review of the WHOLE forecast given then, which debunks the fun, and shows that the forecaster was referring to a number of storms during that forecast, and that his words have been taken out of context to create the myth.

But, as I say…

Why let the TRUTH spoil a good media story?

This week it was interesting to see that the weekend not only carried warnings about possible snow falling in Glasgow, both Yellow and Amber warnings were issued.

(Snow tends to be referred to as ‘snaw’ in Glesga, or ‘Glasgow’ if you’re posh, so I have to cater for the locals as well as the rest of the world 🙂 )

Looking at the prevailing weather, this might have seemed a little silly, as we are living with temperatures up around 8°C, although the nights are sometimes frosty.

So will the folk who think it’s ‘kewl’ to laugh at the forecaster be laughing.

You decide.

This was a shot taken out my back door during the night.

I’m not sure how much had fallen, as the ground is still relatively warm.

Nothing was lying on roads or paths, but they were very wet, with puddles, while grass and soil had visible snowfall lying.

Remember, it only needs ONE snowflake to fall on a certain rooftop in London on 25 December for it to be officially declared a White Christmas!

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Right about ‘Frozen Rain’ too!

The alert I read also mentioned something referred to as ‘frozen rain’, but didn’t go into any real detail.

I suppose the meaning is fairly obvious (to anybody but a weather forecast naysayer, that is).

I was standing in my hallway at lunchtime, and noticed a strange noise penetrating the house, and getting more noticeable.

For the technically aware, it was as if someone had started to turn up an amplifier just playing white noise.

It was coming through the open loft hatch, and also from the front of the house.

Sure enough, tiny little ice drops were hitting the front window, and presumably landing over the whole area of the roof.

This was quite unlike the usual hail we see here, which often batters down in clearly visible waves, and lies on the ground.

This fine stuff was almost invisible, and just falling like ordinary rain, and so light it couldn’t stay frozen on the window, or gather on the ground.

So, I guess it was indeed, ‘Frozen Rain’.

Unlike hail, which I think makes multiple journeys up and down in the freezing air at altitude, so grows slightly each time until the hailstones become too heavy to stay aloft, it looks as if frozen rain is literally just that, rain which has hit a layer of cold air, and just frozen on its way down, without ever being carried back up to get wet, and then freeze again as it falls.


Don’t think this has ever been mentioned before.

15/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 2 Comments

Looks like I really do live down a cold hole

After a couple of years of noticing an odd weather (or is it local climate) effect, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m NOT imagining it.

This year in particular, with its apparently milder start to the winter season compared to recent years, has made this effect even more noticeable for me.

What I find is that I can either be at home, or wandering the local streets, and think the day is freezing (which it is, both by looking at the ground, and reading thermometers). But, if I have to go out, once I get about a mile away, it’s always warmer.

I used to think I was just imagining this, as walking a mile takes 15-20 minutes, so you should be warming up anyway. But, that wouldn’t explain the lack of ice/frost, or frozen ground, which I might just have walked through near home, but is not present once I’ve walked that mile.

Tonight, I found another confirmation after decided to cycle to the shops.

The road past my door is gritted regularly, and the gritters have been out, so it was fine.

Then I turned off it – and found myself being VERY cautious. There was a nice, sparkly, coating of ice on the road.

Yet when I was coming up to that first mile – all was well again, and there was no ice on the back streets near the shops.

At least I knew to be extra careful as I headed home.

Hydraulic disk brakes on bikes – absolute MAGIC!

I also note that Glasgow City council (you know, the council I suggest local people STOP slagging off, and actually LOOK at what it does) published its ‘Bad Weather’ policy statement a few weeks ago, and that included a commitment to have its gritters not only working on established critical roads, but also cycle paths and routes with them.

While they can’t clear EVERY road and route, it does mean that they are NOT ignoring cyclists, as perhaps the damned ‘cycling activists’ might want us to believe.

We even have an online Gritter Tracker

Apparently the tracker is worth looking at just for fun, as out gritters have names, such as ‘Gritty Gritty Bang Bang’.

But, we don’t have these though (as far as I know).

10/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maps, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oops, there goes summer, here comes winter

I sometimes wonder if we should just cancel autumn – it seems to last no time at all.

I noticed this a few years ago, when I was setting up a work bench to process a huge amount of print/film images, with the intention of bring a few thousand examples into the digital age.

Thing were going fine until I found I needed some carriers to hold odd-sized strip of film and negatives, and a lot of small ‘contact’ prints – a lot of the material had come from a Glasgow photographic studio (long gone and demolished).

Unfortunately, it took me a few days to make the trip to buy these goodies, but that short delay led to the end of the project – which has yet to be revived, despite all the stuff still sitting on the same desk.

After buying the extra bits needed, the date changed from October to November… and that year, and just about every year since, I think it’s almost as if some McNastie weather god throws a switch and, over the course of only a few days, we go from “It’s a bit chilly, but I can still work in an unheated room” to “Who are you kidding? Work? I can’t even feel my fingers after a few minutes!”

It looks as if we’re heading rapidly towards the day that damned ‘Cold’ switch is thrown for this year.

The temperature is set to plummet over the weekend – but is it cold enough for snow in Glasgow?

The saying is winter is coming is true for the coming week as temperatures are set to dip to 1C overnight on Saturday and Sunday.

The Met Office is reporting Scotland is set for wintry showers – meaning frost and snow – towards the end of this week and into next.

Snow could hit Glasgow this weekend as temperatures plummet

It will be interesting to see if the usual whining travellers are already practicing their moaning about how the weather has upset their plans, and how the council was not prepared and didn’t do anything to keep THEIR personal routes cleared before everybody else’s.

Want to bet they haven’t read (or will choose to ignore) that Glasgow City Council has not only got its plans in order already, but that this year CYCLE PATHS will be given priority?

Specifically… (DAMN! They’re really only beginning the East City Way – but then again, most of the cycle paths here are on shared footways)

The cycle routes to be given priority status for the first time are the South West City Way and the West City Way and its link with Kelvingrove Park.

Under a pilot programme, the routes will be gritted or cleared alongside the city’s priority 1 footways.

Last year winter gritting began on 29 October and extended through to April after the arrival of the so-called “Beast from the East”.

The new winter plan will involve the clearance of 900km (559 miles) of roads, footpaths and now cycleways.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “As ever, we always seek to refine and improve our plans and people can have faith that we are prepared in case the worst happens again.

“I am delighted there will be greater support for those who travel to and from the city centre by bike.

Gritters to ‘prioritise’ Glasgow cycle paths this winter

We really need to be more honest, and instead of pointing mockingly at the Council for traffic problems in cold/snowy weather (or worse, joking about what can be a killer), start pointing at the morons who think it is clever to go out and travel in weather condition that are just not safe. Darwin at least removes a few of them every year.

I wonder if they are the same people who go wandering in the hills and mountains wearing t-shirts and jeans at this time of year, then feign surprise when the Mountain Rescue teams have to risk their lives to go get them down before they die>

I really couldn’t find a good weather joke, but this is probably better.

Cold Grumpy Cat

Cold Grumpy Cat

25/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Magpie afront

After the recent magpie rear view that was provided a few days ago, my visitor was back again.

I got lucky as the character only stopped by for a minute, then disappeared, but was here long enough for me to get a proper pair of ‘Mug Shots’, with both front view and profile.

Spotted me at the window right away.

Magpie Front

Magpie Front

Had a look to the side, then flew away – probably too cold to hang around today, as the snow fall has been replaced by cutting easterly gusts. I’m not even sampling life out of doors at the moment.

Magpie Profile

Magpie Profile

Now for some fun

With nothing else to do at the moment, this guy reminded of some funnies.

He’d be out of luck trying this… ever since the stinky pigeons set up an observation post here, I’ve completely stopped chucking stuff out for the birds.

Any Bread

Any Bread

There there’s always the PETA appeal to beat in mind.

Warm Then Up

Warm Then Up

And those that have to go out to work in this weather.

If They Are Cold

If They Are Cold

02/03/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Beast weather is weird weather

The Beast from the East is providing unusual weather, over me at least.

Despite appearing to be snowing most of the time (at least almost every time I’ve looked out the window), the fine, powdery, dusty snow we saw has not built up to any degree, and still only amount to about a foot, or 30 cm.

Today has seen little new fall, but looking at the trees, and the weather station, I don’t fancy going out in the wind I see gusting now, especially if it has come from Siberia. It’s probably gusting to 25 mph, and the wind chill is probably making it feel like -10°C although the measured temp is hovering around freezing point now.

But the most interesting factor remains the direction – normally so boring and stable, this comes from the west via the Jet Stream and is so consistently only from the west I have gone and checked the sensor is not stuck! But now…

It’s stuck from the east!

East Wind

East Wind

The only good thing I can see at the moment is that although this is all down to freezing wind from the east, the underlying weather is warmer (spring had sprung just before this drastic change) so the cold is not deep, or penetrating deep into the ground (yet).

I already see signs of melt around edges where the snow is thin, or has landed on ground (or roofs) that were not freezing cold before it landed.

If the forecast change in the weather suggested by the weekend arrives, while this may not disappear ‘overnight’, there’s a good chance it will not persist either, as it would if we were suffering proper overnight winter frosts as we experienced a few weeks ago.

01/03/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


I almost forgot about a bunch of pics I grabbed yesterday.

I also found out there is at least five collective nouns for a group of magpies, but I’ll go with a mischief of magpies, mainly because they are kind of irritating.

In good weather, I’m actually impressed by their apparent ability to cling onto the side of a building, until they start banging on my wall like misguided woodpeckers.

Then there are the days when they decide to attack me – on one occasion I was looking at them and they took off and flew straight at my face, while I was standing behind a plate glass window. Fortunately, they bounced!

They seem to be pretty cowardly though, as they will take off the instant I step out the door. Even the pigeons don’t move until I throw things at them.

No sign of any pigeons in the snow, but the magpies are still here.

This one must have seen catbutt and decided to mimic this with magpiebutt, and stubbornly refused to turn to face me no matter how long I waited.

Magpie Butt

Magpie Butt

Incidentally, something I only found out recently when looking closely at some pics – those feathers over its butt (not the actual tail feathers) are not black, but an iridescent bluey-green. I thought there was something wrong with my pics until I looked closer, and checked the details of their colouring

01/03/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

The Beast from the East is real

I see what I have referred to recently as the Siberian Blast in recent posts has come to be known officially as the Beast from the East.

It really does feel as bad as it looks in the clip above, and today started looking a little snowy at first light, then continued to go downhill.

Although not ‘heavy’, the snow continued to fall in varying degrees throughout the day – most notable was the light and fine nature it had, akin to dust or powder most of the time, and explaining why it has not piled high (yet?). I left a couple of doors cracked open – no gap to see through, but when I went back later was fairly amazed to see this dry, dusty, powder like snow was being blown in through the tiny gap.

The next depressing sign was a drop of -3°C in the afternoon, a time when the temperature usually rises during the day – this does not bode well, and has taken below -4°C and I don’t fancy what the night might bring.

Apollo Towers was beginning to collect snow as the day progressed.

Snowy Apollo Towers

Snowy Apollo Towers

At least I found a cat there…

Winterised Cat

Winterised Cat

I ventured along the road to lane that overlooks some houses, but was more interested in seeing what the hill in the distance looked like.

Yup… WHAT hills? Visibility was nil past only 1 km.

Hill View NOT

Hill View NOT

I grabbed a quick street view, and as noted, although the snow is non-stop, because we are only being hit with a fine powder it is not building up to any great depth. But I guess that could change at any moment.

Now that the ambient temperature has settled well below 0°C, anything that falls will not go away.

Proper Snow

Proper Snow

Last thing I did before it got dark was venture up into the loft, and glad I did too.

Normally the snow doesn’t blow in the open skylight, but this light powdery stuff did, and was beginning to build up.

I leave this open year round for ventilation – but now it’s closed for the first time in years.



I was irritated later, when I missed a photo-op.

In the dark (it is not actually dark here now thanks to the snow, I don’t even need room lights on), I saw a fox wander through the garden, but there was no time to go pick up a camera as it was not hanging about.

28/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Timorous tortie

While this one was no more wary than any other cat that (very) occasionally wanders through here, the description is no less applicable.

Apart from my once sort of regular black visitor, the cats still wandering around seldom let me near.

I spotted this one, apparently enjoying something it had found during one of the breaks between the snow flurries our current Siberian ‘cold air’ bath eventually delivered today.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 1

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 1

I know every leaf lying around my ‘garden’ at the moment, and believe me, there’s NOTHING edible down there, at least not that I left out.

I tried to get some more views, to see if there were any clues on offer.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 2

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 2

Definitely got a mouthful of ‘something, but I have no idea what.

Another catch didn’t really help – and I’d been spotted!

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 3

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 3

“Hoomin’s too damned close – I’m off, and putting more distance between us.”

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 4

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 4

Whatever it had found, it took with it.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 5

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 5

That look…

Was basically my marching orders.

If I went indoors, ‘Tortie’ would move.

If I stepped outside, ‘Tortie’ went back into the undergrowth, and stayed put.

I used to have treats/food to hand, but gave this up long ago, as I just ended up throwing it away when it got to be too old, or was opened and discarded, so didn’t have anything to offer.

On a positive note, this character was clean and well-fed, not in distress, so probably just made the mistake of going for a walk on the wrong day.

28/02/2018 Posted by | photography | , | 2 Comments

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