Wednesday 20 February 2019

Summer 2018 was one of the driest ever recorded thanks to heatwave

Sophie Turley (4), from Forkhill, enjoying the heatwave earlier this summer at Blackrock beach in Co Louth. Photo: Arthur Carron
Sophie Turley (4), from Forkhill, enjoying the heatwave earlier this summer at Blackrock beach in Co Louth. Photo: Arthur Carron
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

2018 will go down as one of the hottest and driest summers on record as weather conditions not seen for more than two decades were recorded across the country.

June delivered temperatures higher than 30C in some places which brought about prolonged drought conditions last experienced in 1995. 

The unusually hot weather, which continued into July causing drought conditions and bringing water restrictions into effect, placed this summer alongside some of the hottest ever recorded.

While the summer of 2006 also saw extremely high temperatures it did not bring about drought conditions seen recently.

Similar hot and dry conditions prevailed during the same three-month period in 1973 and 1983 revealing a pattern of severe heatwave conditions that appears to come around once every ten years

Temperature stations across the country saw some of the highest temperatures ever recorded while all experienced higher than average readings. 

HOT: Sunbathers at Brittas Bay yesterday. Photo: Neil Carson
HOT: Sunbathers at Brittas Bay yesterday. Photo: Neil Carson
Sophie Ducasse (5) having fun in Skerries Pic:Mark Condren
Local children jump into Lake Corrib from Kilbeg Pier near Headford, Co. Galway during yesterdays heatwave. Photo: Tony Gavin 27/6/2018
Oussari, a male amur tiger, takes a dip in the water at Dublin Zoo as temperatures continue to soar. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 29, 2018. See PA story IRISH Zoo. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Beach Life Guards Oisin Corrigan and Briege Devaney on duty at the Bull Wall at Dollymount Beach. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th June 2018
From l to r are, cousins, Katie Kelly, 11, Sadie Duff, 3, Noah Duff, 20 months, Abbie Kelly, 10, from donnycarney enjoying the good weather in Clontarf. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 27/6/2018
Anthony and Sinead O’Farrell from Glenealy County Wickow with their dogs Gus and Millie in Ballina County Tipperary Pic:Mark Condren
Aveen McKenna Pereira, aged 4, from clontarf 4 enjoys the good weather in Clontarf. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 27/6/2018
Man at sea at Dollymount Beach. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th JUne 2018
Sophia Lavrinovica 2 from Blanchardstown enjoying the good weather on Portmarnock Beach Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Enjoying the heatwave in Ballina and Killaloe Pic:Mark Condren 26.6.2018
Girls pictured enjoying the water at Portmarnock Beach. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Enjoying the heatwave in Ballina and Killaloe Pic:Mark Condren 26.6.2018
28 Jun 2018; General view of boys from Malahide and Clontarf playing rugby in the sunshine on Burrow Beach, Sutton, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Repro Free Thursday 28th JUne 2018. Ships of all shapes and sizes have sailed into Galway Harbour this week for Irelands largest and most spectacular maritime festival, taking place this weekend. Among Galways ship-filled Harbour, will be a 45 metre super pelagic trawler, Girl Stephanie. This is a rare opportunity to tour a pelagic trawler and to talk to the Conneely family about life in Irelands fishing sector and to learn about fish stocks and the sustainable fishing in Ireland. Pictured welcoming Girl Stephanie to SeaFest are MacDara (8) and Seren (5) from Galway. Picture Jason Clarke
A man jumps into the sea at Salthill beach during sunny weather in Galway, Ireland June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Diarmuid Earley (4) from Kildare enjoying the good weather Photo Gareth Chaney Collins
Alana Phelan enjoys the sunny weather in Galway’s Eyre Square. Picture: Xposure
People enjoying the good weather on Portmarnock Beach Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Christine DeOliveira and April Solon in St Stephen’s
Lauren Chaney and her brother Darragh enjoying the sun on Bull Island Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Cael Skehan enjoying the weather on Bull Island Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The three days up to the 29th of June saw temperatures rise above 30C in a number of regions including Clare, Tipperary, Roscommon, Galway and Mayo.

Shannon Airport recorded its highest maximum temperature this summer at 32C - the highest ever recorded at the site since it was established in 1941.

At the same time, records from Cork Airport also showed the driest conditions ever recorded.

While the air temperature rose, rainfall levels fell well below averages for that time of year with some parts of the country experiencing just a third of its normal amount. 

Gurteen in Co Tipperary recorded just 35pc of normal rainfall for the month of July. In Dublin, the combined recorded rainfall for June and July was the lowest since records began in 1850 with just 28pc of the normal levels recorded.  

While June and July proved the hottest months, warm weather continued into August despite wetter than average conditions in the north, attributed for the most part to the remnants of post-cyclone Ernesto.

Tom Murphy, a climatologist with Met Éireann attributed the “exceptionally dry and widespread drought conditions” to the record-breaking temperatures.

A summary report from Met Éireann did not attribute the cause of the recent spell of warm weather to climate change but stated that it was “compatible” with the associated trends.

“Although it is not possible to attribute the individual extreme events of June and July to climate change, they are compatible with the general long-term trend,” it stated.

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