2014 Weather Diary

A brief list of notable weather events in Ireland in 2014

October  06 & 08:   Thunderstorms

0812On both the 6th & 8th of October, vigorous thunderstorm activity affected coastal peripheries of Ireland as deep wedge of unstable polar air settled down over the country. On October 06, the western and southwestern coastal counties were most affected during the afternoon and early evening as a near continuous stream of showers were driven onshore by the prevailing southwesterly flow. These showers moved up along the parts of east coast later that evening before largely dying out. After a brief lull on the 7th,  widespread and locally severe thunderstorms affected many southern coastal countries during the afternoon of the 8th with Cork, Waterford and Wexford worst affected.  The thunderstorm activity lasted well into the evening giving some spectacular lightning displays in the southeast.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office

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September 01 – 21:  Very dry

0812The first 21 days of September proved to be remarkably dry over most parts of the country, with some parts seeing little or no rainfall for the period. Slack high pressure zones lay near or over Ireland for much of this period bring mostly fine, warm and sunny weather on most the days. The only exception to this was on the the 2nd, when very localised, but very heavy showers developed over parts of the midwest. During one such shower, Shannon Airport recorded over 30 mm of rain in just 4 hours during that evening.

This was in stark contrast to Mace Head on the west coast, which recorded just over 8.0 mm for the entire month of September.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann

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August 02:  A very wet day

1212Late on Friday, August 1st, an active frontal feature moved up from the south and became slow moving over the Irish Sea. As a result,  it’s associated rain-bands more or less stalled over the eastern half of Ireland, which consequently gave large totals over a wide part of the midlands and east over the course of Saturday, Aug 2nd. By midnight, rainfall totals had reached as high as 40 – 60 mm in many places, with Dublin Airport recording totals in excess of 80 mm.

Just a week later (late Sat Aug 09 – Sun, Aug 10) , the remains of ‘Hurricane Bertha’ followed more or less the same path, once again resulting in some fairly high rainfall totals in southern and eastern coastal counties especially, with Cork Airport & Casement in Dublin topping up their totals by almost another 30mm before the front finally cleared through.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann

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July 21 – 26:  Very warm & humid

2312A warm and very humid maritime air mass became established over Ireland during this period with high temperatures both by day and by night. Sunshine amounts varied over the country with the eastern half the country tending to fare best. Max temperatures reached into the mid-twenties on most days with a top temp of 27.1 c being recorded in Co. Carlow on the 25th. Minima stayed above 15 c on most nights during this spell with Finner Camp in Co. Donegal recording the highest night time minima of 18.4 c on the 22nd.  Though it remained mostly dry during this spell, this heat and humidity triggered well  isolated but heavy showers on most days.  More widespread and severe thunderstorms developed on the afternoon of the 24th however, especially over a broad region of the midwest where locally high rainfall totals occurred, resulting in flash flooding in parts.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann

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July 17 – 19:  Thunderstorms

1812After a spell of dry, settled weather, widespread and locally severe thunderstorm activity broke out over parts of the south late on Thursday, July 17, which subsequently moved northwards to affect many parts of south and east Leinster early on 18th. Counties Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow & Dubln were worst affected with locally high rainfall totals recorded. Later on the 18th, the trough with brought these storms reactivated again over midwest and west midlands resulting in locally severe storm activity over parts of Clare,  Roscommon & Leitrim in particular. More locally heavy thunderstorms developed again on the 19th over central regions with Ballyhaise in Co. Cavan recording an hourly total of 38.5 mm between 9-10pm that evening.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann

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June 15 – 23 :  Warm & settled spell

1712A large, slow moving high pressure zone established itself off the northwest coast during this period, ensuring fine, warm conditions with light northeast winds and temperatures reaching into the low to mid 20’s. Daily sunshine totals were initially high although the cloud did build up at times during the afternoon in the 2nd half of this period. Despite this, most if not all areas remained dry with parts of the east and south recording no measurable rain for 14 or 15 days between  the period June 11 – 25.  The warmest day of this settled spell occurred on the 17th, when temperatures reached into the mid 20’s over the many parts, peaking at 27°c in Newport, Co. Mayo during the afternoon.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann

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June 6 – 10 :  Thundery spell

A warm and very humid southerly air flow became established over the country on June 6th as a slow moving depression became anchored to the west of Ireland.  The highly unstable air mass which this low steered up over Ireland helped trigger the development of intense showers and thunderstorms on a daily basis between June 6 & June 10, with north Munster, Connacht, north Leinster & west Ulster generally seeing the most intense activity. This volatile air mass eventually broke down later on the 10th as a cooler, more stable westerly became established over the country.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office

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May 20 :  Widespread thunderstorm activity

Widespread and locally severe thunderstorm activity developed on this day as a warm and humid easterly air flow became increasing unstable during the afternoon. The day began mostly cloudy with showery rain in places. By early afternoon, a band of heavy showers and  thunderstorms developed over Leinster and east Munster ahead of an active cold front moving up from the south. This band of thunderstorms gradually moved northwards and westwards to affect much of the midwest and west by evening. This active trough eventually moved away later in the night as cooler, drier air moved in from the west

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office

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April 27 :  Funnels and thunderstorms

A slack northeasterly airflow ensured a  fine, warm spring day with light winds and long sunny spells over the bulk of the country on this day.  By mid-afternoon, however, heavy showers and thunderstorms developed over parts of the midlands, west and southwest leading to localized downpours and falls of hail. In the late afternoon, a large funnel cloud was observed and captured by many people over the Middleton region of Co. Cork.  These tubular shaped features were also observed over parts of the midlands and midwest during the late afternoon and early evening. These showers died away again by late evening and was followed by a fine, clear if cool  Spring night.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office

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February 12 :  A stormy day

Gale force winds affected many areas on this day with storm force winds (mean wind speeds reaching in excess of 48 knots)  or higher recorded in some parts of Munster & south Leinster during the afternoon, which, inevitably, resulted in widespread disruption to power and transport services. These high winds were generated by very tight gradient that followed immediately on from a deep Atlantic Low (central pressure of 955 hPa) that crossed the country during the late morning and afternoon.  Mace Hd recorded a 10 minute mean wind speed of 65 knots as the storm passed over; while the highest gust speed of 86 knots was recordied at Shannon Airport.  Broadly speaking, however, gust speeds during the height of the storm typically ranged between 50 and 70 knots over the bulk of the country, with the higher values felt more widely further south.

Weather map courtesy of the UK Met Office
Data courtesy of Met Eireann.

 

 

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