Friday 24 November 2017

Rain and shine – the day the weather played Jekyll and Hyde

Saoirse o'Rourke, 16, Fiona Terry, 16, and Roisin Weldon, 16, get caught in a heavy shower on Dublin's Henry Street.
Saoirse o'Rourke, 16, Fiona Terry, 16, and Roisin Weldon, 16, get caught in a heavy shower on Dublin's Henry Street.
In Sandycove, Greg O'Brien cools down at the Forty Foot.
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

While some parts of the country basked in 22C sunshine, others were lashed with monsoon-like rains and left under three feet of floodwater.

Met Eireann said intense electrical storms across the midlands, west and north of the country brought torrential downpours in some areas.

However, the localised nature of the downpours meant some areas escaped the rain altogether while a few miles away there was flash flooding.

The rainfall meter at Dublin Airport, for example, registered just less than 1mm of rain following the afternoon thunderstorms while in the north city centre homes were flooded and roads were left impassable.

Met Eireann forecaster David Rogers warned that the intense thunderstorms could lead to more flash flooding in the days ahead.

It is a major turnaround from the weather the country has been enjoying in recent weeks as the nation registered its first heatwave in years.

DROUGHT

"In some part of the country the ground is already saturated and that is just since the rain started last Monday or Tuesday – that's having gone through a drought for the previous 15 days.

"When the ground is saturated it means the rain has more difficulty flowing away and can lead to flash flooding," he explained.

The unsettled weather is set to continue for the weekend and into early next week. West Munster and west Connacht will bear the brunt of the thundery downpours today. While there will be showers elsewhere, these won't be as intense as they have been over the last few days.

However, there will be a return to the intense thunderstorms with all parts of the country at risk of some intense downpours which will build up during the course of the day and could fall anywhere. There will also be a renewed chance of flash flooding.

Monday and Tuesday of next week will see a similar mix of sunshine and heavy showers while early indications are that a band of heavy rain will move northwards across the country on Wednesday.

Temperatures in the coming days will be around 18C to 21C or 22C which is normal for July.

Irish Independent

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