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Saturday 30 August 2014

January was one of the wettest and windiest in decades, says Met Office

Allison Bray

Published 04/02/2014 | 02:30

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IT WAS one of the wettest Januarys in decades, and February is getting off to a similar start with more blustery and severe weather ahead.

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All 26 Met Eireann weather stations across the country reported above average rainfall last month, with parts of the west and south reporting close to double the average January rainfall since 2011.

Valentia Island in Co Kerry topped the list with 289mm of rain falling last month, followed by Newport, Co Mayo, at 286.1mm.

Rain-sodden Newport also had the most rainfall in a single day when it recorded 33.3mm on January 24, the highest recorded there in January since 2005.

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The west in particular took the brunt of the rainfall with large quantities also recorded at Mace Head, Co Galway, with 228mm and Claremorris, Co Mayo, at 219.8mm.

Belmullet, which logged 210.5mm of rain, had its wettest January since 1993, while Dublin Airport and Mullingar had their wettest Januarys in 19 years.

Knock Airport had the highest rainfall ever recorded there since its records began in 1997 with 208.1mm. It was also one of the dullest places in the country last month with just 41.4 hours of sunshine for the entire month and the highest number of dull days. In total there were 17 days having less than 0.5 hours of sunshine a day.

The capital, however, fared better overall in terms of the amount of rainfall it experienced.

Dublin's Phoenix Park recorded the lowest rainfall last month with 97.8mm of rain, while Dublin Airport had 101.6mm of rain.

There was a little more rain in west Dublin with 111mm recorded at Baldonnel Aerodrome.

Despite the rain, the rest of the country experienced average to above average hours of sunshine with Valentia Observatory enjoying the fewest dull days, at just six.

The only consolation was temperatures were generally above the long-term average with some areas reporting double-digit daytime highs.

Shannon Airport recorded a pleasant 13.4C on January 5, followed closely by 13C at Roches Point in Co Cork on January 24.

But it was also a relatively windy month with some weather stations in the south reporting their highest January windspeeds in six years.

Mace Head in Co Galway recorded the highest wind speed of the month on January 3 with gusts of 133kmh. Gale- force winds were reported on 11 days during the month with storm-force winds on January 3 and January 26 at Mace Head.

And while it will generally be remembered as a wet and windy month, Met Eireann forecaster Gerald Fleming said it wasn't extraordinary. "It's typical for this time of the year," he told the Irish Independent.

"People may forget since we haven't had many wet and windy winters over the past few years."

Irish Independent

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