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Storms set new records for wind, rain and waves

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Katie Nash, Tracy Prunty and Pippa Hartridge get a soaking from waves on Dublin's Great South Wall. Photo: Collins

Katie Nash, Tracy Prunty and Pippa Hartridge get a soaking from waves on Dublin's Great South Wall. Photo: Collins

Katie Nash, Tracy Prunty and Pippa Hartridge get a soaking from waves on Dublin's Great South Wall. Photo: Collins

THE spate of winter storms that swept across the country over the past three months has set new records for rain, wind and waves.

Met Eireann revealed that the frequent and persistent Atlantic systems at the end of December and into January and February saw more rain dumped on some weather stations than in more than a century.

DAMAGE

Some €70m has been set aside to deal with infrastructure damage from the series of powerful weather systems, and more money is expected to be needed.

Valentia reported its wettest winter since records began in 1866 with 848mm (33.3 inches), while Malin Head reported its wettest winter since 1885 with 530.7mm (20.9 inches).

Shannon Airport had its worst winter for rain going back over 68 years of records and Mullingar reported its wettest winter in 63 years, with 531.3mm (20.9 inches) and 444.5mm (17.5 inches) of rain respectively.

Other stations in the south, east and west reported their wettest winter in six to 57 years, with Finner in Donegal recording a total of 510.1mm (20 inches) over the three months and Carlow Oakpark seeing 460.5mm (18.1 inches).

The wettest day of the season saw 34.5mm (1.35 inches) at Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, on February 17, its wettest winter day since 2008.

Met Eireann said a new record was also set for the biggest seas off the Irish coast, with a wave 25 metres (82ft) high reported at the Kinsale Energy gas platform on February 12 that left about a quarter-of-a-million homes and businesses without electricity at one stage.

On the same day on the rigs, which are situated about 50km south of Cork, winds reportedly gusted to 96 knots or 178kph (110mph).

The Met Eireann winter weather review for December, January and February also revealed the extent of violent storm force winds right across the country.

STRONGEST

Met Eireann said the strongest winds recorded inland reached 86 knots or 159kph (98mph) at Shannon Airport on February 12 – the highest on record for winter in 68 years.

Climate experts said the series of devastating depressions were caused by a shift in the jet stream.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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