Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Let’s look at the REAL weather

While the media has centred on one or two sunny days (a novelty in Scotland – just kidding), the reality is they’re really only a few peaks in an otherwise dull summer to date.

While those days have happened, the reality is that most days are STILL able to leave you with a cold and slightly runny nose if you spend the entire day outside and the sun doesn’t shine on you. And late evening walk can still be decidedly chilly. Even pushing a bike along can become similarly chilly if you are dressed for a warmer day.

If you don’t believe me, then have a look at the graphs I extracted this morning, after it was even cooler this morning thanks to some pretty constant rain that has ben falling since just after midnight.

I took this back to April, just to show the three ‘Hot Spots’ we’ve had so far, while the average really stays well below, so far at least, even if there is an overall rise – it’s slow.

April to July Temp 2019

April to July Temp 2019

I can’t pick the dates for this Min/Max graph, but it shows the current period to date, and far from showing an increasing average, without the peak Hot Spots, has actually shown a DROP in the average over the last few days.

June Min Max Ave 2019

June Min Max Ave 2019

So, while the media jumps up and down and waves its arms proclaiming ‘Heatwave!’, I’m afraid the stark reality (so far at least) is not really all that warm if you ignore the peaks.

And I don’t have to worry about becoming a dog, since my nose seems to be ‘cold and wet’ most times I go outside.

09/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

The media loves warm weather, and this time it may be for real

After the ‘fun’ we had last year, when the Beast from the East kept making return trips, this year has been interesting as the chilly weather seemed to have take note, and kept on making similar returns. Nowhere near as cold of course, but continually teasing with a warm day, then a chilly one – just to catch people silly enough to go out in t-shirts and shorts after that one warm day.

I still regret not trying harder to get some pics, of people dressed like that, in the same scene as those still wrapped up in big jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves 🙂

There was a run of weather stories prediction how warm Glasgow (and may even Scotland) was going to be for Easter, and since I don’t subscribe to the view that the weatherfolk could not produce an accurate forecast if their lives depended on it, I expected the weather to change ‘overnight’.

Hot weather arrives in time for Easter weekend as Glasgow faces mini heatwave

Easter weather: Glasgow tops Malta today as heatwave brings hottest day of the year so far

Glasgow enjoys warmest day of year so far as Easter weekend weather breaks records

And they were right…

Scotland has had its warmest ever Easter Sunday, with temperatures reaching 23C.

Warm air from North Africa arrived on Friday and temperatures have continued to rise.

The heat has reached 23C at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire, making it Scotland’s hottest Easter Sunday on record.

Scotland has warmest ever Easter Sunday as temperatures soar

Three of the UK’s nations have recorded their highest ever Easter Sunday temperatures, the Met Office has said.

Scotland’s peak was 23.4C (74F), in Edinburgh, while that same temperature was also the high point in Wales – coming in Cardiff.

Northern Ireland beat a 95-year-old record when the mercury hit 21C at Helen’s Bay near Bangor.

England’s highest temperature was 24.6C at Heathrow airport – just shy of the record of 25.3C.

Record Easter temperatures in three nations of the UK

Back in the real world, I’d like to note that this is does not reflect what happens indoors, as there’s a thermal lag in the fabric of a building, meaning it can lag days behind the external temperature.

At the moment, I’m ‘enjoying’ the weird experience of this rapid outdoor warmth mixed with indoor temperatures which can be 10°C behind the nice warm day outside.

Here’s the (my local outdoor) Max Min Avg for the past week.

April Max Min Ave

April Max Min Ave

And the indoor and outdoor actuals for the past month.

The most interesting things here are the sudden change in the pattern, and the regular max/min of the day/night temperatures.

At least the latter explains why I always think it’s freezing as I head out every morning – it is!

April Inside Outside Temps

April Inside Outside Temps

However, unlike the ‘warm’ spells of a few weeks ago, this graph shows a genuine rise now, so the chilly weather has gone.

For a few months.

It will be back.

Some take a little more convincing than a nice graph.

Warm Cat

Warm Cat

People are a little more trusting, and this was the first day the Sun came out.

First sunny Kelvingrove day

First sunny Kelvingrove day

I was quite concerned for this poor girl’s safety, lest she be attacked by the ‘Bikini Clad Army of Fat‘ which I had read about invading Glasgow a few days ago, and is apparently out to convince everyone that carrying around 20 stone of fat is beautiful, healthy, and normal.

Kelvingrove Lawn

Kelvingrove Lawn

What a shame place such as the asylums around Glasgow (Gartloch and Lennox Castle for example) were all closed, as there are clearly some people whose mental processes show they should be in them.

I’ll maybe listen to these disgusting women (and it always women) the day we get demands for similar legislation to stop people chasing ‘fat’ as some sort of ideal in the same these fatties have pursued legislation to stop people chasing ‘thin’.

Address BOTH.


Easter Monday carried on the trend.

Scotland has enjoyed its hottest Easter Monday on record with a top temperature of 24.2C (75.5F) in Kinlochewe in Wester Ross.

The figure beat the previous high of 21.4C (70.5F) from 2014.

It came 24 hours after a peak of 23.4C in Edinburgh broke Scotland’s Easter Sunday record.

This year, Easter fell on the latest date since 2011, meaning that warm weather is far more likely than those years when Easter is marked in March.
Image copyright PA
Image caption Six-year-old Brodie Tait cools down in a fountain in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens

The Met Office said all four of the UK nations had recorded their warmest Easter Monday on record.

Easter Monday temperature is new Scottish record

22/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Yup, it’s cauld

Just a quick observation of the temperature over the past month, since we enjoyed our ‘mini heatwave’ at the end of February.

While it was very nice to have, as you can see from the actual record, it didn’t last, and March may not have been freezing (although some nights did make it below 0°C), the warm days of February are yet to make a return.

In fact, the past few days have been decidedly cauld!

I know, I’ve been out in most of them – the problem is not the absolute temperature, which is reasonable, but the so-called ‘wind chill’ factor, an effect that makes the temperature feel a few degrees lower than it measures. At times, the wind make it feel like being hit with the blast of cold air from a freezer.

I was trying to explore some parts of the west end of Glasgow I don’t usually get to, but ended up in. Eventually had to give up and go home as the wind (and rain sometimes) just made it too cold to hang around outside for more than a few hours, and I wasn’t dressed for it.

I never trust Easter weather, and recall some years when a happy trip could be taken to the park to roll Easter eggs in the sun…

And others where I tried to make use of the holiday and get some work done outside on my car, only to be forced indoors when I lost the feeling in my fingers as they froze trying to handle the metal tools, and car parts.

The past week has been fairly crazy for weather, with rain, wind, blue skies, then Sun, all alternating in as little as 10 minutes at times (don’t forget the wind chill).

The only good thing about all this is that it’s not freezing and snowing, as per last year’s Beast from the East. At least you can go out even if things are variable.

And you can see the trend is rising temperature, even if slow.

March 2019 Temps

March 2019 Temps

26/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Rotten weather may not be all bad – kept me away from Glasgow Uni

I was a bit sad to see the weatherfolk had been spot on once again, and their forecast of cold and rainy weather today was accurate.

I’d been up before 7 am, and then it was howling a near gale as well, but this at least had calmed down within a couple of hours, and the trees were no longer bending over.

I might have been at Glasgow University again (for the galleries/museums) but for that weather, and had been there a few days ago, when I spotted a Maserati (they are very popular in China, and apparently with Chinese here) while I was having a seat on the wall across from the main entrance, as it was a reasonably nice day.

It was too quick for a decent pic – but at least a dSLR is ‘always on’, unlike a compact, so my only problem was lifting it fast enough, and zooming (oh, and standing up, as I’d been enjoying the sun).

Glasgow Uni Maserati

Glasgow Uni Maserati


Had I headed that way today, there would not have been so much fun to be had.

As you’ll see from the news pics, the action was taking place at the Main Gate, seen above, where I was sitting.

I might have been evacuated!

University of Glasgow buildings evacuated over suspect package

Thankfully, the latest updates suggest it was a false alarm, and the suspect package contained promotional items.


I’d grabbed another quick pic only a few metres away, a reminder of the autopsy benches I’d come across on the grassy area nearby.

It was interesting to see the students were happy to sit on them, and enjoy a break, and their lunch in the sun.

I wonder if they realise what the benches are modelled after?

Autopsy Lunch Benches

Autopsy Lunch Benches

I’m almost surprised to see this, given the way some people have hysterics about quite innocent connections to objects.

06/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting temperature stats

I’m just dropping this in here as I noticed I don’t have a max/min/ave graph option on my weather data, just a ‘live’ feature that shows it up to the current day. I’m too lazy to pull the old data and make it later.

While we’ve had some cold days (or to be more accurate, nights), since the Storm Erik hit a few days ago we’ve seen a VERY noticeable rise in temperatures, together with a fair amount of rain.

I’ve had to shed extra clothes and other efforts at staying warm, and have even had trouble sleeping, as I just get too warm during the night. I even had a very short run one night, and had to give up before I melted!

I could have been imagining this, or been ill (and I was, just to confuse things), but a look at the live max/min/ave to date shows the rise is rapid and real.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it doesn’t suddenly reverse, and have already started trying to catch up with stuff put in abeyance at the end of November, when it got too cold to play.

Usually, I don’t really start pulling out jobs to restart them until we’re well into March, and some years we’ve not seen the end of ambient temps little above zero last until April. I’ve still got a Christmas tree up! But they went up late too, as I wasn’t feeling Christmassy at the tight time.

It actually feels ‘odd’ being able to this so early in February.

Be interesting to see if this needs to be revisited later, either to show the trend continued, or if winter comes back and gives us one of its ‘Kicks in the Face’, not an unusual event.

Feb Ave Temp

Feb Ave Temp

10/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Our wonderful weather II

After yesterday’s post on this subject, I was in Glasgow city centre again and passed through George Square during the evening. The Christmas market is still there, which I mention only because I deliberately avoided St Enoch Square earlier as it has a similar feature, or HAD, since I glanced down there from Buchanan Street only to see it had gone completely, so I needn’t have detoured.

George Square was pretty quiet, but still relatively busy with folk having a last look.

Last week, this would have been a solid mass of people.

George Square Post Christmas

George Square Post Christmas

However, the interesting thing was the lack of cold.

While many people were wrapped up as if it was freezing (and I ended up overheating when inside buildings yesterday – I really did have to step outside to cool down at one point, and I was far from ‘wrapped up’), and I honestly don’t know how they could stand being wrapped up in thermal jackets, hats, hoods, scarves, and gloves, others were wandering around in t-shirts.

Here’s one example I caught at the side of a pic of the Christmas tree.

Is this really Glasgow, Scotland, on 30 December?


Scotland In December

Scotland In December

I checked my own temperature records when I got home.

That said it had been over 12°C at my house then, and had started falling (but only to 11°C).

Bear in mind I live in a ‘cold corner’, and a city centre can easily be 2-3°C warmer than the surrounding area.

It certainly felt like that.

31/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Our wonderful weather

I try to avoid simple weather posts, they’re just too easy to make if you live in Scotland.

But, when there is a point, they can be interesting.

Scots probably still remember this year’s Beast from the East and, if not too diverted by the festivities, may have noticed a Met Office alert to the effect that similar upper atmospheric conditions are already stacking up NOW, and might bring a similar freezing wave, only none months later.

The good, or bad, news is that they simply can’t tell if all the elements will combine to repeat the phenomenon, and that they’ll only be able to see this happen a week or two in advance.

Some years ago, our winters had become very different, and I recall one trip made to the Isle of Bute on 31 December (I used to play ‘Catch the last ferry’ in those days, as they don’t run at the start of the year – miss it, and you’re stuck there) to catch some of the geocaches planted there. It was so warm I dump my jacket, and was climbing around the island in a jumper.

Meantime, consider I’m writing this on a balmy Sunday morning with 11.3°C showing on the outdoor thermometer, on 29 December 2018, and took the pic below in Glasgow on the 28th.

Glasgow 28 December 2018

Glasgow 28 December 2018

Let’s look a little closer at one detail, as seen from the Observation Gallery of the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green.

People's Palace Picnic

People’s Palace Picnic

It was actually colder yesterday, probably closer to 8 or 9°C.

30/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, 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

Winter – take a hint!

It looks as if I may not be the only who is getting tired of winter.

While hail is not such a winter phenomenon as snow, we did just have a temperature drop (not as far as freezing, just to about 4°C during the night) and had a pretty heavy fall of hail during Thursday evening, which lay for some 9 hours before melting away.

Combined with a flip in the wind direction from west to east, and Norway having a temperature drop this week, that east wind is making Scotland feel cold, colder than expected.

So I’d like to drop a little hint, to winter

Winter Hint

Winter Hint

Not my pic (found online) but, there’s an interesting observation.

That knife at the front, the one with the three rivets in the handle.

I lost that one last year (seriously, it got swept up with some garden rubbish and disappeared with it), so it’s nice to see it turned up somewhere useful.

I’d like it back, but I guess I’ll have to replace it – made from a single piece of steel from tip to handle end, unlike those with a blade fitted into a separate handle, this solid design does not suffer the flexing of the two-part design, and real force can be exerted when it is used, and it does not threaten to fail at the join.

29/04/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

It’s still chilly

The past week has been fun (for what I can still think of as fun, which is not much) as I waited and waited for the snow to come, and for the country to grind to a halt based on the weather forecast The Scotsman relied on for some strange reason.

I know we have the occasional weather extremes in Scotland, but who in their right mind would give any credibility to The Weather Channel, founded by an acknowledged climate change denier (according to John Coleman – dead – it’s all government manipulation to make money), when it said:

Experts at The Weather Channel warned that the mercury could drop to -2C in areas by the middle of next week, causing air frosts in rural regions that are a complete contradiction to this week’s summer temperatures.

Heatwave over: Scotland set for sub zero temperatures

I’ve screen-grabbed that article, just in case it is deleted, and also noted the weather in Glasgow for the week following its publication, see here Now it’s winter in late April (I just object to being treated like an idiot, and I consider that forecast, and the article, both did that).


On a lighter and more fun note, I did get to dig up a couple of pics I didn’t get around to using before the ‘heatwave’, so it’s not all bad.

Just for fun, I grabbed an almost complete 180° panorama of George Square when it was quite on a chilly day – it’s not the full sweep simply because I had to crop out some ‘distractions’ at each end which would have wasted the view if they’d been left in. (Click to expand).

George Square Stitch

George Square Stitch




How can you tell (they’re tourists)?

They’re dressed for a chilly day – therefore clearly NOT locals (and I could hear them, but not understand a word)!

27/04/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

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