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A Journey Around the Sea Area Forecast with Meteorologist Joanna Donnelly

2nd April 2024
Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly with her latest book at Malahide marina
Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly with her latest book at Malahide marina

Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly recently earned the title of “Optimist of the Year” from an Irish Times letter writer for her take on yet another wet spell.

As correspondent Kate Power recalled, Donnelly had been describing a rainfront that was moving away from the country and was now returning. The forecaster mused that with rising temperatures “at least it’s warm rain.”

Communicating science has always been a priority for Donnelly, a familiar face on television and a familiar voice on radio forecasts.

It’s what inspired her to write The Great Irish Weather Book, published in 2018 and as good a read for adults as for the children it had been aimed at.

She has followed that with her second publication - From Malin Head to Mizen Head: A Journey Around the Sea Area Forecast - recording personal experiences, peppered with scientific observations, on a sunwise tour around the Irish headlands.

It gave her, she says, a “very different perspective” on the impact of weather for those working or living offshore.

It is dedicated to her late mother, Marie Kelly, who died unexpectedly in September 2021. When she started into the project, she had been reading Charlie Connelly’s Attention All Shipping, A Journey Round the Shipping Forecast, published in 2005.

Donnelly spoke to Wavelengths on a recent windy afternoon in Malahide and I first asked her what motivates her in relation to weather and whether we are more obsessed by weather than most in Ireland.

You can listen to her interview below

From Malin Head to Mizen Head: A Journey Around the Sea Area Forecast by Joanna Donnelly is published by Gill Books at 22.99 euro (hardback)

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...