The wettest festive season since 1999

CHRISTMAS 2013 was the wettest since the start of the millenium with an incredible 1.14 billion tonnes of water falling on the county over a 20-day period.

Ironically, despite such a massive volume of free water falling from the sky, work to install water meters in Kerry is ongoing and water charges will come into effect in a year's time.

The storm of St Stephen's Day and the intense rainfall on Sunday, December 29, combined to make Christmas 2013 the wettest and windiest in many years.

Valentia Observatory recorded its wettest Christmas since 1999, with 30.4mm of rain falling on December 29 alone. But it was even wetter in north Kerry where Liscahane Nursery and Garden Centre recorded 34.4mm on the same day at its official Met Eireann station - making it that station's single wettest day of the year.

Liscahane meanwhile recorded 160mm - or 6.5 inches - of rain for the 20-day period, signalling an intensely wet December. Based on its figures, Liscahane station-keeper Don Nolan calculated that no less than 1.14 billion tonnes of rain fell on the entire county over the 20 wet days.

"That's an approximation based on our figures, of course but it shows the incredible weight in water that can pass over our heads in this county.

Most people don't believe it when you put it in those terms, but that's how much volume the county can get and they are charging us for water as of next year!" he said.

The Valentia Observatory, meanwhile, recorded one of its windiest periods in many years also with the battering Kerry received in the storm of Stephen's Day gusting up to 69 knots at the facility. This was almost as powerful as the highest gusts of 71 knots recorded for the entire country at Sherkin Island station on the same day.