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Friday 20 September 2019

Think this is hot? Take a look back on Ireland's weather extremes

Photo: Depositphotos
Photo: Depositphotos
A temperature scale on a beach shows high temperatures during a heat wave.
Stock photo
Stock image
(Stock photo)

Callum Lavery

Met Eireann predicts parts of Ireland to reach 27C today as the European heatwave continues to sweep over the country.

Independent.ie decided to look back over Ireland's most extreme weather conditions to help keep your mind off the baking heat... and improve your quiz knowledge for the day that's in it.

Temperatures:

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A temperature scale on a beach shows high temperatures during a heat wave.
 

The highest shaded air temperature ever recorded in Ireland was way, way back on June 26, 1887 in Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny at a sweltering 33.3C, while the coldest temperature ever recorded was even further back in January 16, 1881 when it reached -19.1C in Markree Co. Sligo. Brrrrrrrr.

Rainfall:

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The longest drought ever recorded in Ireland was in 1938 in Co. Limerick when it did not rain for 37 whole days, from April 3 to May 10.

Glasnevin Co. Dublin recorded the lowest annual rainfall way back in 1887 when only 356.6mm of rain was recorded. In September 1986, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin remained bone dry for the entire month.

In comparison, nearly 4000mm (3964.9) of rain was recorded in Ballaghbeama Gap, Co Kerry in 1960 and the highest monthly rainfall was recorded in December 2015 when 943.5mm of rain fell on Gernapeka, Co. Cork.

Nearly 250mm (243.5) of rain fell in one day at Cloone Lake Co. Kerry on September 18, 1993, while Clanroche, Co. Wexford had 52.2mm of rain in just one hour on June 27, 1986.

Wind Speed:

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According to Met Éireann, the highest gust of wind ever recorded in Ireland, was at Foynes Airport, Co Limerick on January 18, 1945, before the instrument pen went off the chart.

Sunshine:

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(Stock photo)
 

Valentia, Co. Kerry holds the record for the most hours of sunshine in one month. In 1955, Valentia recorded over 308 hours of sunlight in the single month of July.

On the other end of things, Sherkin Island, Co Cork had only 2.8 hours of sunshine in December 2015.

Europe:

Luckily, Ireland has been spared the most extreme weather this week, with parts of western Europe bracing for record temperatures.

France expects to beat its highest-ever recorded temperature on Friday amid a heatwave which is thought to have claimed lives.

The current record is 44.1C measured during the 2003 heatwave which killed thousands of people.

In response, France's national weather service has issued an unprecedented red alert warning for four areas all of which are in the south, while most of the country remains on orange alert.

Records going back to the late 19th century show that the average temperature of the Earth's surface has increased by about one degree since industrialisation.

A climatology institute in Potsdam, Germany, says Europe's five hottest summers since 1500 have all been in the 21st century.

Scientists are concerned that rapid warming linked to use of fossil fuels has serious implications for the stability of the planet's climate.

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