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Wednesday 1 October 2014

The storm before the calm

Thunder and lightning to ease off and make way for warm sunshine

Emma Jane Hade

Published 19/07/2014 | 02:30

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Lightning at Baltimore, west Cork yesterday evening.

IT WAS the storm before the calm. The turbulent thunder storms of recent days are passing and warmer, sunnier weather is on the way.

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Thousands of homes were left without electricity while emergency services dealt with incidents of flash flooding yesterday morning as a thunderstorm – sometimes with spectacular lightning strikes streaking through the skies –swept across the country.

Forecasters said there were an estimated 3,500 flashes of lightning across Ireland and Britain in the early hours of yesterday, as the hot and humid air known as the 'Spanish Plume' arrived on our coasts.

Met Eireann's John Eagleton said: "We get these things every so often, it's part of our climate. We have had them in the past, electrical storms – masses of them coming up from the Bay of Biscay."

The south of the country experienced the worst of the weather before it spread up across the country throughout yesterday.

The same weather system is causing a heatwave in Britain, with temperatures at 30C making it the hottest day of the year yesterday, but it has not had the same impact in Ireland.

Things are set to get slightly better today and there will be sunny days heading into next week with temperatures pushing the mid-20s.

"It will be a fairly dry start to [today], and it could even be a sunny start," Mr Eagleton said.

"For a lot of places it is going to be dry today – but there'll be heavy showers breaking out in the afternoon," he said.

After another day of heavy and humid conditions, he said "there will be a lot of good weather next week".

"There will be some heavy rainfall – particularly in the midwest and in the western counties. But I don't think it will be much, and temperatures will be good most days, again breaking the 20 degrees mark."

Forecasters are predicting there will be dry weather with warm spells of sunshine breaking through on Monday.

ESB said it was working throughout yesterday to restore power to some 2,400 homes that were left in the darkness in areas around Arklow, Co Wicklow, and Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Flooding

Dublin City Fire Brigade said it responded to one minor incident of "localised flooding" in the capital.

As Met Eireann's 'yellow weather warning' remained in place last night, the emergency services said they were endeavouring to ensure that "all equipment is ready and there are sufficient staff in place" should any dangerous situations arise.

A spokesperson for the DSCPA said that owners should ensure pets have fresh water for the coming days and that farmers should move livestock to higher ground.

Irish Independent

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