Sunday 24 September 2017

Dry October helps create vibrant autumnal display

Sofia and Petra Hriciakova, from Mountjoy Square, Dublin, play in the autumn leaves yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers
Sofia and Petra Hriciakova, from Mountjoy Square, Dublin, play in the autumn leaves yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

A mild and dry October has brought a stunning display of autumn colour to our parks and forests.

Official statistics from Met Éireann yesterday confirmed that it was extremely dry nearly everywhere, with temperatures largely on or above average.

Rainfall was less than half the October norm in most stations - with the lowest percentage reported at Markree, Co Sligo, at just 22pc the normal amount.

However, Valentia Observatory was hit with a deluge at the beginning of the month, with 105.5mm of rain on October 3, making for the highest daily rainfall since 1939. Temperatures were relatively high and hit an impressive 18.3C at Shannon Airport on October 5.

The weather report also confirmed that average wind speeds were low - as little as a mean of 4.8 knots in Ballyhaise, Co Cavan.

Weather conditions have combined to produce a New England-style display as leaves stay on the trees for longer, producing vibrant red, orange and browns.

Calmer winds also mean the leaves stay on the trees for longer, extending the colour show.

However, winter is coming. Despite the mild autumn so far, people will need to wrap up for the rest of the week, as yesterday's colder weather is set to stay.

Rain in Ulster and Connacht will spread tomorrow afternoon and we may see hail on Friday.

Met Éireann is predicting clear and bright weather as we head into the weekend - but frost will appear overnight.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warned people to be aware the milder autumn weather will bring out animals such as hedgehogs and foxes, who should be left alone unless obviously injured.

Irish Independent

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