Vistor Counter=

4 Aug 2011

Moray magnificence

It was the last episode of the current series of The Great British Weather on Wednesday, Tomasz once again confined to a recorded report.

This time he had been to the village of Portknockie, in Moray (Scotland), to explore St Elmo's Fire. Not the 1980s film or the accompanying John Parr song you understand; but the atmospheric phenomenon, which seriously afflicted the town in 2007.

Resident Fraser Milton recalled the night when a severe electric storm formed over the town; of such a ferocity, it caused sockets to explode out of walls. The culprit for this? St Elmo's fire. It is when a thunderstorm becomes so highly charged and super-heated, that nitrous oxide in the atmosphere turns to plasma, the fourth state of matter. The plasma form of nitrous oxide becomes ionised and manifests itself in blue streaks, wreaking havoc upon anything electrical.

This phenomenon can readily, but safely, observed within a plasma ball. One of those globes, with streaks of plasma emanating from the power source in the centre. If you run your hands over the surface of the globe, the plasma 'follows' your hands' movements. If you're a pilot you may see St Elmo's fire up in the clouds, from the comfort of your cockpit.

I'm told by my spies that the BBC were happy with the show; the viewing figures were decent (mostly down to The Schaf I'd say!) and another series could be planned for the winter. I would hope Carol Kirkwood would do it on her own though, she has the presence and knowledge to it-- plus no more Larry Lamb larking with lame chromakey (nothing against the man himself by the way, but what were you thinking Larry?)

Nor do I have anything against Chris Hollins and Alexander Armstrong personally; they just seemed to superfluous and stilted on this show, especially when they are not weather experts. The former is better suited to serious serious journalism, the latter to comedy acting and gameshows-- that's what they are respectively good at after all! That's my tuppence-worth anyway.

For UK, Man and Channel Islands folks:
39:05 onwards

Finally best of luck to Tomasz for his bike-ride from London to Brighton this weekend. Fingers and other phalanges crossed.

Happy holidays, wherever you may be going....


  1. Agree with the superfluousness of Hollins and Armstrong. They should get Disco Des (formerly of East Midlands Today) to do some of the roving reporting next time. He has the enthusiasm without being patronising.
    But do they *really* have enough material to do a second series?

    Liked TS's pieces, thought they were interesting (particularly the one about St Elmo's Fire) and really stood out from lots of the other drivel we were subjected to (i.e. how a rainbow is made - this is BBC1 not CBeebies).

    Surely not just me thinking that Lamb piece about umbrellas would've been much more edutaining with Dan presenting it.

  2. Many thanks for the comment Kirsty :-)

    I suppose for the winter series, they'd do pieces on snow, frosts and so on? Let's hope they wouldn't be given the CBeebies treatment either [haha]

    I wonder Disco Des is up to now? He could have done some groovy moves the weather map. Of I course I am biased and much prefer Tomasz, and his magnetic presence.

    However Dan doing that segment with umbrellas, that is inspired. He always implored us to take said item out, when rain-bearing little fellas were heading our way.

    I hope he's enjoying New Zealand.