The Rhythm of rainfall

Rhythm of rainfall, would be an apt title had you decided to put pen to paper and write a book in the months of October and November. A staggering 250mm of rainfall in November and 160mm in October. I’m exagerating for effect, but that’s a 10cm from half a metre of rain in 2 months.
I’d never been more delighted to see the outline of long cold spell. It was late, normally the 3rd week of November, occasionally the first week of November, but never December.

Since riding my chopper bike through the streets of Cardiff many years ago, I have always enjoyed the first snow day. Its something about the cold, snowball fights and a shimmering landscape that I simply love. That feeling hasn’t faded, in fact, since we moved to the mountains of the Brecon Beacons, the obsession has increased. Weather stations aside (one for another story), I long for the months of November when tradionally the first snow arrives in the central Beacons. .

Still waiting

November came and went, no white stuff arrived. But finally…… finally, the weather gods dished out a series of forecasts that promised hope!


Landscape photography demands a decent, if a little obsessive, interest in the weather. Especially in winter and certainly if you enjoy climbing hills. So over the following weeks a ‘casual’ but slightly obsessive review of the models took place. GFS being a particular favourite weather model, as it has historically always landed on the side of optimism when it comes to snowfall 🙂

December the 6th arrived and the biggest chance of producing first snowfall on the Pen Y Fan, Corn Du and the high peaks of the central Beacons. However, as much as I wanted to head up into the hills, there was a considerable volume of low cloud, down to arround 500m, so the tops of the hills were concealed. Later that day as the sun was setting, the cloud lifted by about a 100m and revealed the tinest glimpse of a snowline.

Now it was a case of waiting until the following morning and getting out amongst it to confirm the volume and height of the snowline.

Rhythm of rainfall

Suffice to say, the first snow arrived (as suspected) in the Brecon Beacons on the 6th December 2022, nearly 3 weeks later than last year. The first time since I have being paying any level of interest to snow levels, that snow hasn’t arrived in November. I’ve been looking for some stats to back this up, but can’t find any that are available for public consumption.
However, on twitter I was sent a fantastic link from Iestyn Hughes, which uses a data model input into GIS and outputs the average number of snow days per (specific) location, not what I was after, but as fantastic resource, thanks Iestyn.

Snow Days

If you have any questions about the Rhythm of rain, please drop me a line.

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