Tuesday 23 October 2018

2017 broke records for winds and wet summer

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Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Last year saw record-breaking summer rainfalls and the strongest winds ever recorded here, according to Met Éireann's 2017 annual weather review.

Storm Ophelia was responsible for the highest winds on record, when gusts of 84 knots, or 155.6kmh, were recorded at Roche's Point, Co Cork, on October 16. The weather station also broke records for the highest ever sustained wind speed over a 10-minute period - known as the 10-minute mean - with wind speeds of 62 knots, or 114.8kmh, on the same day.

"October was notable for Storm Ophelia, an ex-tropical cyclone which made landfall on the 16th, bringing violent storm force winds to Munster, and strong gale force winds to many areas, with destructive gusts widely," according to the annual review.

Storm Doris brought widespread gales and disruption when it passed through on February 23, after the year had started off mild and mainly dry before turning unsettled at the end of January.

But overall, the year was a story of two halves, with the first six months of the year drier than usual, and the latter half wetter than average.

April was the driest month of the year, with the bulk of weather stations reporting rainfalls falling 60pc below their long-term average.

September was the soggiest month of the year, especially in the south. However, Malin Head, in he north-west, broke a record for the wettest summer day in 62 years when 77.2mms of rain fell on August 22 - including 63mm which fell over a six-hour period. It also had the highest daily rainfall anywhere in the country last year.

However, Newport, Co Mayo, was officially the wettest place in Ireland, recording the highest annual rainfall of 1,754.4mm, while Dublin Airport was the driest, with 660.5mm of rain.

Sherkin Island, in Co Cork, was the warmest place in the country overall last year, with the highest annual mean temperature of 11.3C. Knock Airport was the coldest spot overall last year, with the lowest annual mean temperature of 9.2C.

Solstice

Dublin's Phoenix Park also broke a record for the hottest day since 1990 during the summer solstice on June 21.

The Casement Aerodrome, in Co Dublin, experienced the coldest day, when temperatures plummeted to -6.6C on December 11.

The sunny south-east retained its title with the highest mean amount of daily sunshine at 3.9 hours a day, or a total of 1,410.5 hours at Johnstown Castle, in Co Wexford.

It also shared the highest daily sunshine recorded on a single day - 15.9 hours on June 18 - with Cork Airport, which also recorded its highest amount of sunshine in a single day since 2004.

Irish Independent

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