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Displaying items by tag: Met Eireann

Met Éireann and Irish Lights are pleased to announce a joint collaboration that will enhance our understanding of Irish Coastal Waters, with the aim of improving safety for coastal inhabitants and mariners.

Safety of the mariner and the public has been at the heart of Irish Lights and Met Éireann since their establishment over 235 and 85 years ago respectively. The seas around the island of Ireland are changing due to the impact of climate change and both organisations are adapting by developing new additional services. In line with the government’s Climate Action Plan and The Status of Ireland’s Climate Report 2020, a better understanding of our adjacent seas is needed including the wave conditions around the Irish coast.

Launching on 1st February, St. Brigid’s Day, the Patron Saint of Sailors, the trial will involve adapting existing navigation buoys operated by Irish Lights with new wave sensors, providing quality controlled near real-time meteorological and hydrographic data for the benefit of stakeholders in coastal areas.

Map of Wave Buoy Deployment and Irish Lights Buoy NetworkMap of Wave Buoy Deployment and Irish Lights Buoy Network

Ronan Boyle, Director of eNavigation & Maritime Services for Irish Lights, said: “Irish Lights is delighted to support this trial with Met Éireann, which is closely aligned with our Vision of protecting lives, property, trade and the environment by delivering next generation maritime services. We look forward to a successful completion of the trial period and a possible future expansion of this monitoring network for the safety of all”.

The data from Irish Lights navigation buoys will be used by Met Éireann’s Flood Forecasting Division to develop coastal predictive modelling systems for tidal, storm surge and wave forecasting for Ireland. The acquisition of near-real-time data will prove beneficial to the Flood Forecasting Division before, during and after coastal flood events. This meteorological and hydrographic information provided by Irish Lights will support stakeholders to make impact-based decisions and take actions that protect against the loss of life and to mitigate against damage to property and the environment.

Rosemarie Lawlor, Hydrometeorologist at Met Éireann said: “This important capacity-building collaboration is an exciting first step in building on our understanding of Irish seas and coasts and continues the essential work of improving safety of our coastal and marine areas”

The four Irish Lights navigation buoys which are part of the trial are Ballybunnion buoy (Shannon Estuary)*, Finnis buoy (Galway Bay), South Hunter buoy (Larne) and Splaugh buoy (Rosslare)

The project is divided into three stages:

  • Procurement & Testing,
  • Deployment, and
  • Trial.

As part of stage one Met Éireann procured and provided Irish Lights with wave sensors, data loggers and modems for their navigation buoys. A new quality control process has been developed by Met Éireann in collaboration with Irish Lights and the Marine Institute for testing the data in stage three. Irish Lights have installed, tested and commissioned the sensors on each buoy over recent months to enable the transmission of the data.

Splaugh Buoy on Irish Lights ship ILV Granuaile, ready for installation of new wave sensorSplaugh Buoy on Irish Lights ship ILV Granuaile, ready for installation of new wave sensor

In stage two the equipment was deployed by Irish Lights and we are currently entering stage three, the trial, with data transmission from the buoys initiated. The new sensors are measuring wave height, wave period and wave direction. The data will be tested, verified and quality controlled to ensure it is fit for purpose as part of stage three.

At present this data is openly available in near real-time at the following websites:

Met Éireann - https://www.met.ie/forecasts/marine-inland-lakes/buoys
Irish Lights - https://cilpublic.cil.ie/metocean/

The near real-time wave data will provide current wave conditions at the deployment locations to end-users.

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Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange weather warning for counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Galway on Tuesday (7 December) when Storm Barra is forecast to sweep in from the Atlantic.

Southerly winds, later becoming to northwesterly, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80 km/hr with severe or damaging gusts of up to 130 km/hr. Met Éireann says winds will possibly be higher in coastal areas, and that disruption to power and travel are likely.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding,” the meteorologists warn.

A Status Orange marine warning will also be in effect for 24 hours from midnight tomorrow (Monday 6 December) as southerly winds veering westerly are expected to reach Force 8 to 10 on Irish coastal waters from Mizen Head to Erris Head to Fair Head.

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Met Éireann is collaborating with Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands on a new supercomputer designed to advance short-term weather forecasting.

The new multimillion high-performance computer built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will also be used to advance climate science research as part of preparation for the impacts of climate change, Met Éireann says.

“With global temperatures projected to increase further over the next decades, weather patterns are expected to become more extreme and more challenging to forecast,”it says.

The new supercomputer will be operational by early 2023 under the project name “United Weather Centres-West”.

It will perform 4,000 trillion calculations per second and handle millions of weather observations every 24 hours - producing detailed weather forecasts every hour, which is especially critical ahead of severe weather.

It will be powered entirely by renewable Icelandic hydropower and geothermal energy, meaning running costs and the CO2 footprint will be kept to a minimum.

Met Éireann says it will provide high-resolution weather forecasts that will be used to provide more accurate and timely weather warnings, allowing emergency services to prepare for potential impacts of severe weather;

It will also provide “more timely and focused information” to marine communities, along with the agricultural and transport sectors, in relation to extreme weather events, it says.

The project involving Met Éireann, the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute is part of a broader collaboration between ten national weather centres in Europe.

The United Weather Centres group plans to operate a common multi-national weather forecasting system by the end of the decade.

Met Éireann director Eoin Moran said the UWC-West supercomputer is “the first step in a powerful collaboration between weather services in Europe which will allow Ireland to meet the growing challenge of forecasting high impact weather events with much greater confidence”.

“ Our countries have a long history of working together in weather prediction research. Denmark, The Netherlands, Iceland and Ireland bound the North East Atlantic Area and are now combining resources to best predict the weather that impacts this region,”Moran said.

“ This is particularly important in the context of the influence of climate change on the predictably of weather systems as the new supercomputer will allow for the incorporation of the most up to date weather forecasting methodologies,”he said.

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A Status Orange weather warning is in place for all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea as strong gales are set to develop overnight with the arrival of Storm Aiden, the first of the new storm season.

Met Éireann reports that winds will reach storm force off the South and South West Coasts in the early hours of tomorrow, Saturday 31 October, later veering westerly during the day and reaching gale to storm force on all coastal waters and the Irish Sea.

Tomorrow morning’s winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h, with severe and damaging gusts of 100 to 130km/h, affecting Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Wexford as well as Carlow, Kilkenny and Wicklow.

Later in the day these severe winds will veer west over counties Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. The rest of Ireland is under Status Yellow with lesser but still potentially damaging gusts forecast, as well as a risk of coastal flooding.

A surfer rides a large wave at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo on Wednesday (Noel Fitzpatrick/Met Éireann)A surfer rides a large wave at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo on Wednesday | Noel Fitzpatrick/Met Éireann

The storm follows the remnants of Hurricane Epsilon, which brought ‘phenomenal’ class seas to the West Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday — just the ticket for the big wave surfing enthusiasts of Mullaghmore Head.

Local surfers told RTÉ News that the swells of earlier this week were some of the biggest they’ve ever seen here, and Conor Maguire was among those up for the challenge.

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Met Éireann has issued a Status Red marine warning as Storm Ellen approaches today, Wednesday 19 August.

Gale- to storm-force winds, southeast veering southwest, are forecast for this evening and tonight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea.

Winds will even reach violent storm Force 11 for a time on the South and West Coasts from Carnsore Point to Valentia to Slyne Head.

From tonight to early Friday the weather may result in unsafe conditions and disruption especially over high ground, lakes and sea areas.

There is also a risk of flooding from storm surges as heavy rains meet spring tides at their highest.

Cork will bear the brunt of the storm, which will produce a core of very severe and destructive winds between 9pm and midnight tonight.

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A Status Red marine weather warning is in place this morning (Saturday 29 February) as Storm Jorge brings southwesterly winds to gale or strong gale force on all Irish coastal waters.

Winds will veer westerly later this morning and this afternoon, increasing from gale force to storm force, and reaching violent storm force for a time between Loop Head and Erris Head.

On land, Met Éireann says the strongest winds will be experienced in Galway and Clare, reaching mean speeds of 85 to 100km/h in places this afternoon with gusts of 130 to 145km/h, and with an elevated rusk of coastal flooding.

“The combination of high seas and strong winds or stormy conditions associated with Storm Jorge may increase the possibility of coastal flooding, especially in flood-prone areas along the Atlantic coast on Saturday (particularly when coincident with high tides),” the meteorological service adds.

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for the rest of the country as severe winds, southwest quickly veering wet and later northwest, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with gusts of 110 to 130km/h — possibly higher in very exposed areas — with an elevated coastal flood risk.

Heavy rainfall over this weekend is expected to compound flooding issues with water levels already elevated nationwide, particularly in the northern half and in the Midlands.

Among events schedules for this weekend that have been cancelled is the Lagan Head of the River rowing event, which may be rescheduled for later this year.

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A Status Yellow gale warning remains in place for all Irish coastal waters after Storm Atiyah brought high winds across the country yesterday (Sunday 8 December).

Northwesterly gales were expected for a time on waters from Malin Head to Howth Head to Roches Point and on the Irish Sea after the first winter storm of the current season tracked eastwards across the island of Ireland.

In addition, southerly gales or strong gales are forecast to develop tonight on all coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, in the warning posted by Met Éireann in effect from 6am this morning (Monday 9 December).

Earlier yesterday, a Status Red wind warning — the most severe — was issued for Kerry with gusts expected to reach over 130km/h yesterday evening, as RTÉ News reports.

Turkey Shoot sailing was cancelled for Dublin Bay due to the rising winds, as was the scheduled dinghy Frostbites event.

Reports of severe weather damage and other incidents came from around the country, with ESB Networks dealing with numerous power outages, fallen trees and debris on roads and rail lines — and one motorist who left their car too long on the shoreline Co Donegal saw the vehicle swamped by the tide.

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“The sea will come and take” Dublin and Cork by 2050 if nothing is done to deal with the consequences of climate change, Gerald Fleming will say in an RTÉ TV documentary tonight as The Irish Times reports.

The former weather presenter and head of forecasting at Met Éireann adds that the port towns of Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford are also particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, increasingly severe weather, more frequent storm surges and extreme flooding.

Fleming explores the direct effects climate change has already had on the likes of Greenland, while he and researcher Cara Augustenborg will present computer models that show the damage that could be caused to Ireland in the not too distant future.

Will Ireland Survive 2050?, part of RTÉ’s new On Climate season, screens tonight (Monday 11 November) at 9.35pm on RTÉ One. Fleming tells more about the programme at RTE.ie.

Published in Weather

Met Éireann says the progress of Hurricane Lorenzo this week and any potential impacts for Ireland “are being closely monitored”.

The powerful weather system, which is currently threatening the Azores in the mid-Atlantic, was recently the most easterly Category 5 hurricane on record, surpassing Hurricane Hugo 30 years ago.

Forecasts beyond the next 48 hours “still of low confidence given the uncertainty” of the storm’s current behaviour.

Numerical prediction models currently show a wide spread of outcomes for the storm track ranging from Greenland to the north of France.

As of today (Monday 30 September) it’s expected that Lorenzo will transition into an “extra-tropical depression” between noon and midnight on Wednesday 2 October.

Met Éireann says its most likely path after this transition brings it to the northwest of Ireland without making landfall.

However, even at that it “still brings the risk of severe winds, possibly stormy conditions and very high seas”, as Met Éireann’s Deirdre Lowe told BreakingNews.ie.

Latest updates will be provided on the Met Éireann website HERE.

Published in Weather

The weather warning issued by Met Éireann for Co Clare has been upgraded to the most severe Status Red as Storm Hannah is expect to brings gusts of up to 150km/h this evening (Friday 26 April).

Meanwhile, the marine warning has been upgraded to Status Orange, as cyclonic variable winds will increase to gale Force 8 or strong gale Force 9 on Irish coastal waters from Howth Head to Mizen Head to Rossan Point and on the south Irish Sea during this afternoon and evening.

Winds are forecast to reach storm Force 10 to violent storm Force 11 this evening and early tonight between Carnsore Point and Slyne Head.

The extreme weather has seen the cancellation of sailing and watersport events nationwide, including rowing’s Limerick Regatta which had been scheduled for tomorrow.

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Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.