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Tuesday 14 August 2018

It's official: July was an 'absolute drought' for most

People walk in Dublin's Phoenix park during the good weather. The east and south experienced the most prolonged period of drought and high temperatures in the country last month. Photo: PA
People walk in Dublin's Phoenix park during the good weather. The east and south experienced the most prolonged period of drought and high temperatures in the country last month. Photo: PA
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The heatwave and drought conditions experienced across most of the country have been made official by Met Éireann statistics for July.

The east and south experienced the most prolonged period of drought and high temperatures in the country last month, according to the provisional figures.

While all areas experienced monthly rainfall totals that were below their long-term averages, absolute drought conditions were recorded at all Met Éireann weather stations in the east, south, west and midlands until July 14.

Absolute drought is when less than 0.2mm of precipitation is recorded over 15 consecutive days. Partial drought conditions were recorded in the south until July 25, where some rain fell over 29 consecutive days of mostly dry weather.

The first half of the month was affected by a large high pressure system sweeping from Scandinavia to the Azores, which pushed the Atlantic jet stream away from Ireland.

This resulted in exceptionally warm and dry weather, with lots of sunshine and heatwave conditions for several days.

The trend continued for the second half of the month to July 26, except Atlantic weather fronts managed to break through, leading to rain and cooler conditions in some areas. However, low pressure dominated from July 26 with periods of rain and thundery showers and strong winds.

Mount Dillon weather station in Co Roscommon had the unique distinction of recording both the lowest and highest temperatures of the month as the mercury dipped to 4.5C on July 10 after recording a high of 28.1C on July 4.

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As we head into what promises to be a warm and sunny long weekend, the Marie Keating Foundation launched a new campaign specifically warning men to be aware of the dangers of skin cancer.

It noted Ireland has the highest mortality rate of deadly melanoma in Europe. The Skin C(h)ancer initiative is aimed at men who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially farmers, gardeners, sportsmen and anyone working outside, and is urging them to protect themselves from the sun and be vigilant for signs of skin cancer.

Irish Independent