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Met Eireann 'got rainfall figures wrong' -- Dublin city council

RAINFALL amounts recorded by Dublin City Council on October 24 were "significantly higher" than official Met Eireann readings, it has emerged.

The forecasting service was criticised following the severe floods on that date, with accusations levelled that the city was not given adequate advance warning.

It has now been revealed that Met Eireann's three main stations in Dublin recorded substantially lower rainfall amounts than the ones registered by the council's system.

The city council's equipment at Civic Offices on Wood Quay recorded 95mm of rain on October 24, according to a statistical summary compiled for the capital's local authorities. In Dun Laoghaire, the amount reached a massive 130mm.



SNAPSHOT

"These figures are significantly higher than those recorded at the Met Eireann stations which are located to the north and west of the city, and in flat open areas (airports)," the report stated.

Met Eireann's main stations are at Dublin Airport, the Phoenix Park and Casement Aerodrome where readings are provided every hour.

Levels are also recorded at several other locations but this data only gives a 24-hour snapshot and is often not provided until weeks later. However, Met Eireann meteorological officer Noreen Brennan insisted the service's equipment was good enough to supply accurate information to the public.

All its gauges are to World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) standard, which is not the case with the council's system, she added.



DRAINAGE

Ms Brennan admitted "if you had the money" it would be possible to improve the service, adding that "everything has been cut back". But she pointed out the "12 or 13" weather stations the service now has is more than it used to have.

Ms Brennan said showers are very localised so there can be downpours in one area and not in another.

"You could be standing in O'Connell Street (under heavy rain) while Grafton Street is bone dry. You could never have enough of them (weather stations). All you can do is have as many as possible," she told the Herald.

Ms Brennan said the rain on October 24 "came down so quickly".

But she added: "Flooding is not caused by rainfall. It's caused by too many buildings or not enough drainage. If that same rain fell in an open field in Mullingar it probably wouldn't cause anything."

comurphy@herald.ie


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