Weather

Thursday 21 August 2014

Explained: Why our weather has been so stormy

Published 09/01/2014 | 11:24

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Flooding in Blackrock, Co Louth. Photo: Paul Smtih

So why has our weather been so strong lately?

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Well, according to Met Eireann, there's no way of saying for sure, but the position of the Polar jet stream is a very important factor.

In a recent post on their website, Met Eireann discuss how the Polar jet stream has affected our weather.

They explained that if it sits to the north of Ireland, the weather will be mild and breezy, and will settle occasionally.

Since Atlantic storms frequently pass to the north, they only clip north-western areas.

Over the last few weeks, the Polar jet stream ran straight through Ireland, making a route for the storm Christine and the other stormy weather we've experienced.

That, along with a combination of gale-force winds, strong tides and low pressure meant that our shores were in for some less-than-pleasant weather.

The areas worst hit by the storm was the southern, western and north western coastal areas, which received storm force winds on seven days during December and January. The strongest gust reported during the stormy weather was 78kt at Mace Head on the 18th December.

Some people may anecdotally blame climate change for the extremely bad weather, but Met Eireann can't say for sure if that's what was behind the storms. There have been stronger storms in the past, such as Hurricane Debbie in 1961, where the maximum gusts were between 70 and 85 knots.

Irish Independent

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