Friday 18 April 2014

Gale-force winds, unrelenting rain and dull days -- a grim end to 2013

Clontarf promenade which was affected by bad weather at the coast Road, Dublin.
Photo:  Gareth Chaney Collins
Clontarf promenade which was affected by bad weather at the coast Road, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

DECEMBER was a month of unrelenting rain and little sunshine but temperatures were above average.

And gale-force winds battered the country on 20 of the month's 31 days, according to Met Eireann. Overall it was wet, warm and windy, but duller than normal, the summary from the country's meteorological service added.

But there were extreme conditions reported in many places.

Belmullet in Mayo recorded its highest average windspeed of 19 knots (35kmh) since 1993, while Malin Head enjoyed its highest maximum temperature of 15.2C on December 12 -- the highest recorded in the month since records began 58 years ago.


Rainfall was above average everywhere and Cork Airport recorded its wettest December since 1989, with 211.4mm of rain.

Some 101pc of the average rainfall fell at Sherkin Island in Cork, rising to 178pc at Athenry in Galway where 220.3mm fell.

Some stations in the East and Midlands reported their wettest months in seven years, and 15 days were recorded as being 'wet' days -- where 1mm or more rain fell.

Mean temperatures across the month were also above average for the time of year, with stations in the West, East and Midlands recording their warmest December since 1988.

The Phoenix Park's highest temperature was a balmy 15.1C, the best in 28 years; while Knock Airport enjoyed 12.8C during the month, the highest in 17 years since records began.

But although Dublin Airport had its warmest December in 22 years, there was little sun. Although it recorded the highest monthly sunshine at 50.9 hours, it was the dullest December in the capital since 2005.

Average wind speeds ranged from seven knots (13kmh) at Moorepark in Cork to 23 knots (43kmh) at Mace Head.

Stations in the South and West recorded the highest windspeeds for December since 2007, while the highest gust was recorded at Mace Head with 78 knots (144kmh).

And things are unlikely to improve for the first part of 2014.

Met Eireann says today will be windy and blustery, while Saturday will be cold and bright but with a risk of heavy hailshowers and blustery downpours.

Very wet and windy weather will sweep from the southwest from Sunday, with strong to gale-force winds and severe gusts in some places.

Irish Independent

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