Storm Ophelia is history now and whilst those worst affected are still dealing with its consequences for the majority of us thoughts are turning to Storm Brian. As a nation we’ve always been obsessed with the weather it seems to me but just recently it’s become a mania. Mind you, I will long remember walking out of the cottage door on Anglesey last Monday and sensing an eeriness I’ve not felt before. There was a smell of bonfires and tobacco in the air, dark skies and a tangible feeling of oppression.  Add to that the curiously quiet streets in Menai Bridge town and it really did have that other-worldly feel. Then the sky turned red and the sun orange. It was this latter event that caused the penny to drop; Saharan dust and ash from the forest fires in Spain and Portugal creating both the optical and aural phenomena. Awareness didn’t remove the eery feeling though and it was almost a relief when mid afternoon the winds started to rise and the sky and air to clear. I recorded a gust of 45mph with my anemometer before deciding it was time to lock the door and settle down for the evening with a good book.

The following day we crossed back to the mainland into Snowdonia where fallen trees blocking roads and downed power lines were a very visible reminder of the storm. To think that we only caught the edge of it on Anglesey and then to see what impact that had on the landscape really brought home how bad things had been over in Ireland.

© Dave Whenham
Anglesey: Newborough beach with the tip of Ynys Llanddwyn or Llanddwyn Island to the left

One thing that the storm did change for us was the day we chose to visit Ynys Llanddwyn, or Llanddwyn Island, a small tidal island off the west coast of Anglesey although I will write a separate blog for that in due course but for now a cheeky drone picture, above, will hopefully whet the appetite.

For now though my thoughts are with those who are dealing with the aftermath of the worst storm recorded on Ireland.