Wednesday 24 January 2018

Freaky June weather: More downpours in store as Donegal gets ice storm

The road near
Termon, Co Donegal, after a hailstorm
The road near Termon, Co Donegal, after a hailstorm
Incessant rainfall became too much for shop assistant David Purcell in Killarney, Co Kerry, who took to the streets yesterday canvassing support for his 'end the rain' campaign. By close of business, he had secured 23 signatures
Members of the public braving the wet weather on the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin's City Centre, Dublin. Photo: Collins

Paul Melia and Greg Harkin

THERE IS no let up in sight! Met Eireann warned today that the heavy rain causing spot flooding countrywide, is set to continue for today at least.

Munster, Connaught and Ulster will be worst affected, but showers ae in store for all areas.

Parts of the country were hit by freak June weather conditions yesterday.

A hailstorm dumped inches of ice on a road near the village of Termon in Co Donegal, leaving a scene more like mid-December than mid-summer.

Amateur photographer Frank McGettigan said: "No one around here has ever seen anything like this in June before. It was really odd."

But Met Eireann forecaster Joan Blackburn said that, while unusual, it was not unheard of for hail to fall in the summer.

"All rain starts as a frozen product," she said. "A downdraft would push the hail down quicker than it can melt, and this is not unheard of. Also, it's not particularly mild, and because the shower is so intense, the hail doesn't have time to melt and fall as rain."


Although hail isn't forecast for today, Met Eireann has warned that conditions will remain treacherous as downpours continue across most of the country.

Up to 30mm of rain will fall in Leinster and Ulster, while there'll be between 40-70mm in Connacht and Munster.

Cork, Kerry and parts of Limerick will begin drying out from this morning, but the rain will not begin to clear off in most parts until later this evening.

The weekend will be unsettled, with some dry spells. "It has been wet -- and it's going to be wet," Ms Blackburn said.

"Dry weather will start to make its way up the country, but it will be windy and wet for a lot of places.

"There is going to be strong and very gusty northwesterly winds, with gales of up to Force 9. The rainfall isn't quite as bad, but it will still be wet, and Ulster will be the last to dry out."

The midlands were worst hit yesterday, with AA Roadwatch reporting spot flooding on the Ballymahon/Longford Road and the Athlone Road approaching Longford town.

There was also flooding on the Daingean Road in Tullamore in Co Offaly, with very wet conditions around Co Wicklow.

Gardai urged motorists to drive with care, saying that conditions were changeable across the country.

"Please be aware of all others on the road and travel a safe distance from cars in front of you," a spokesman said.

"Conditions can be changeable from area to area, so always drive at a speed suitable to conditions, and remain conscious that flooding may occur and visibility may be reduced."

The N25 Cork/Waterford Rd was closed eastbound between Carrigtohill and Middleton following a serious collision yesterday, with diversions in place.

In Listowel, Co Kerry, adverse weather conditions hampered the search and recovery operation of a man thought to have fallen into a river on Sunday.

Navy divers and the Garda Sub Aqua Unit battled driving rain and high winds in their search for 55-year-old John Lynch, who was last seen in Tae Lane in the town at around 5am.

It is understood he was working at a local cafe ahead of Listowel Races and had been on the way home when he lost his footing and fell into the River Feale.

There were also a number of minor traffic accidents reported in Co Kerry yesterday.

There were no major problems reported in the capital.

Irish Independent

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