Weather Watch: The sun didn’t shine for the eclipse

Solar eclipse editorial image
Solar eclipse editorial image

There was a sense of disappointment on Friday morning as cloudy skies prevented a clear view of the solar eclipse for our area.

However, by the end of the event and as the full disk of the Sun started to reveal from behind the Moon, cloud turned thinner and began to break a little, allowing the most patient viewers to get a glimpse of the event.

In some sense, this was actually quite lucky, as the cloud was thick enough to mask most of the Sun’s glare, allowing a naked eye view.

Back to this week, parts of southern England saw some sharp showers earlier this week.

We are now into the time of the year when the spring-time showers (or also known as April showers) start to develop over the mainland and can result in locally heavy and thundery downpours.

From late March onwards, the strengthening Sun heats ground which warms the air above it as a result, and forces it to rise (since warmer air is less dense than colder air).

This surface heating creates rising pockets of air known as “thermals”, in a process called convection.

As the air rises, it cools and can no longer hold all its moisture, the excess condensing out into water droplets and so the cloud grows sufficiently to allow showers to develop.

Spring-time showers tend to develop during the daytime as a result of the strong sunshine and tend to die away as the sun sets.

Any showers that remain tend to be concentrated near windward coasts, where the relatively high sea temperature compared to the land at night can allow convection to continue.

As for the forecast, the next few days look like remaining rather chilly and also quite unsettled.

Thursday looks rather cloudy and damp, and sunshine will remain at a premium for Friday and into the weekend, with further rain possible.

There will be some frosty nights too.

Remember, this weekend the clocks go forward by one hour to mark the transition into British Summer Time (BST), however, the temperatures for the time being aren’t looking particularly summer-like!