Saturday 21 April 2018

Wettest day in 60 years during 'dullest' August in years

Some parts of the country saw flash flooding last month. Photo: Collins
Some parts of the country saw flash flooding last month. Photo: Collins

The wettest day in more than 60 years was among the bleak weather statistics recorded last month by Met Eireann.

Although we have survived worse Augusts, last month was one of the dullest and coolest in recent memory, with unsettled and changeable conditions the norm, according to the organisation's summary released yesterday.

Over a third of the month's rain fell in just six hours at Malin Head, Co Donegal, on August 22.

A massive thunderstorm triggered by the remnants of Hurricane Gert left parts of the county devastated by flash flooding. It was Malin Head's wettest day since 1955.

A seemingly never-ending system of fronts brought rain or showers on most days nationwide, with rain falling for 29 days at Knock Airport in Co Mayo and Markree, Co Sligo.

Dunsany, Co Meath, got off relatively lightly with just 17 days of rain in the month, making it the driest spot in the country.

"Other than passing weak ridges, there were few if any fine spells, making for an overall cool and dull month," according to Met Eireann.

But it wasn't just rainy days that made it a damp squib of a month.

Temperatures were lower than average across the country, with the highest temperature - just over 23C - recorded in Shannon, Co Clare.


In Claremorris, Co Mayo, the mercury almost dropped to freezing point, with a chilly 3.5C recorded on August 13 - its coldest August day since 2010.

The average amount of sunshine was also down in all areas, with Knock Airport recording just 96 hours of sunshine - the lowest in the country.

Overall, the wind speeds were about average, ranging from 5.1 knots (9.4kmh) at Fermoy, Co Cork, to 13.9 knots (25.7kmh) at Mace Head, Co Galway.

The bleak August rounded off a generally damp summer, with July also "unsettled and noticeably cool", according to Met Eireann.

The summer solstice on June 21 marked the hottest day of the season as the mercury hit 28.6C at Dublin's Phoenix Park - the highest temperature for that day since 1961.

Yet, despite the generally bleak conditions, it wasn't among the worst summers on record, according to Met Eireann's Vincent O'Shea.

"It was a cooler, duller summer than normal, but nothing drastic or extreme," he told the Herald.

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