Displaying items by tag: Weather
#Surfing - Though the recent spate of Atlantic storms have made things difficult for inshore fishermen and devastated coastal areas throughout the country, one contingent that's been welcoming the wind is the world's big wave surfing community.
As The Irish Times reports, 20-metre waves were not uncommon as the Atlantic 'black swell' that swept in with what was dubbed Storm Christine crashed on the shores of Western Europe, and attracted the cream of Ireland's and the world's surfers to the north-west.
Mullaghmore Head, which made the list of Surfer Today's best European big wave surf spots along with Aileens off the Cliffs of Moher, was producing waves on Monday morning described as "too big to tackle" by the Irish Independent.
And first to the Sligo surf was American boarder Kurt Rist, according to Surfer Today, which notes that Belharra in south-west France was another big meeting point for the pros.
The surf at Mullaghmore was even strong enough to snap the board of Irish Surfing Association chair Henry Moore, who got a bloody nose for his troubles yet still sang the praises of the conditions that "put Ireland on the big wave surfing map and that's why so many people have flown in from France, the USA, Germany, Spain and Portugal."
Visitor numbers in Ireland's top west coast surfing haunts were up thanks to the recent Atlantic swell, though at least one local hotelier was caught out as he closed up shop for a fortnight just before the big waves hit - more on that story in the Irish Independent HERE.
The Commissioners of Irish Lights has since begun an aerial inspection of the coastline from Tuskar Rock off Wexford to Inishtrahull in Donegal to assess the extend of structural damage as hurricane-strength winds and massive surf assaulted the island of Ireland.
Meanwhile, an approach light on Inishbofin off Connemara that was blown away in the storms will be replaced by a temporary battery-operated lantern.
The extreme conditions are also thought to be responsible for two fatal dolphin strandings in the Galway region, in Salthill close to the city and Roundstone in western Connemara.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
#WaterSafety - The public has been reminded yet again to stay away from the water's edge as the country continues to be battered by huge waves and storm-force winds after a man was injured on Howth's East Pier this afternoon (6 January).
As TheJournal.ie reports, the man was caught by a wave while walking along the upper portion of the North Dublin pier and thrown some 10 feet to the lower section, injuring his ankle in the fall.
The man has ventured onto the wave-lashed pier despite widespread warnings to the public from the Irish Coast Guard and Irish Water Safety to keep a good distance from the water during this latest orange alert weather warning from Met Éireann.
Western and southern areas will be worst affected, with Met Éireann declaring Status Orange for Donegal, Clare, Connacht, Limerick, Kerry and Cork.
Wind speeds in these areas this evening and tonight may reach 90km/hr with gusts of up to 130km/hr along with heavy rain, high tides and high seas, which presents a flooding risk in coastal areas that may remain till this Sunday 5 January.
Cavan, Monaghan, Tipperary, Waterford and Leinster counties should expect winds of up to 80km/hr with 110km/hr gusts with similar coastal flooding risks.
Meanwhile, Met Éireann has declared a Status Orange marine warning for south to south-east gales expected to develop later today on all Irish coastal eaters and on the Irish Sea.
These winds will range from gale to storm force in all sea areas tonight, with "violent storm force" winds on the north-west coast.
Coastal and waterside areas throughout the UK are also on alert for this new wave of "exceptional weather", especially in Devon and Cornwall where waves were reaching nine metres in some spots this afternoon.
UPDATE: As of late this morning, the weather warning level has been raised to RED with severe and damaging gusts of 120 to 140km/hr expected and 150km/hr gusts in exposed coastal areas. There is also a risk of very high seas with significant danger of coastal flooding.
The wind warning comes into effect from 5pm this evening and continues overnight and into tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.
As TheJournal.ie reports, ferry sailings have already been cancelled, and small craft are advised of the status level of 'Orange' as southerly winds are expected to increase to gale or strong gale force this afternoon on all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea, and will veer southwest to west tonight while increasing to storm force at times.
According to Surf-Forecast.com, the coastline is already set to experience wave heights of 5 metres or more this afternoon (Sunday 15 December).
But the best may be yet to come, with swells expected to nearly double that height by Thursday (19 December).
And the big wave bounty looks to continue into the following week, providing plenty of opportunity for Ireland's swellseekers to catch a monster before Christmas!
#weather – This Winter 2013/14 may be cold again according to the latest ideas coming from a UK weather guru.
If the latest indications are correct then Ireland is more likely to experience a cold winter than a normal or milder one. Frost and snow would likely be above normal levels across the southern half of Ireland, whilst the north is drier.'
Weatherweb.net Managing Director, Dr Simon Keeling, who produces weekly forecasts for Ireland's largest marina at Dun Laoghaire, stressed to afloat.ie that this was not a forecast for winter, but just a statement as to how models and comparisons with previous years pointed to likely weather this winter.
'For sailors it means that the easterly winds are more dominant than usual. However, it's still early days and weather patterns are constantly changing. But for now it's probably best to plan for a cooler than normal winter.
The guidance notes issued by Keeling details his latest ideas for the coming winter (1st December to 28th February) and discusses the likely weather scenarios that will emerge.
'There has been a change in my thinking over the past few weeks. Initially I was of the opinion that the coming winter would be milder than last year, and that 2012/13 was the winter everyone would remember'.
However, this opinion has been changing recently and this evidence was presented to his clients this morning.
#Weather - Irish Water Safety has urged anyone heading to the water on lakes, rivers or beaches during this week's heatwave to take extra precautions as Met Éireann issues a 'yellow warning' amid soaring temperatures.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, IWS chief John Leach underlined the increased risk of drownings during warmer periods, especially among young people in their teens or early twenties to go swimming in unsupervised areas.
Only today RTÉ News is reporting on the death of a 21-year-old Lisa Knight, who drowned while swimming with friends on the River Feale in Co Limerick in the early hours of this morning.
The heatwave, which is expected to peak on Friday with temperatures in many parts breaking the 30s, has drawn people to coastal areas in droves.
Also on TheJournal.ie, the Irish Coast Guard has reported a 40% increase in call-outs relating to watersport and other leisure activities over the last three weeks compared to the same period in 2012.
A significant number of these relate to rogue jetskiers "tormenting" beach-goers by racing through designated swimming areas on their personal water craft, according to IRCG operations manager Declan Geoghehan.
In related news, the Irish Independent says hoax calls to the coastguard have increased 40-fold since the IRCG was added to the main emergency services accessible by dialling 999 or 112 - and now constitute the "vast majority" of calls received.
An area of high pressure hangs over Ireland on the eve of the event and with little wind on Dublin Bay all week, the question on the lips of over 3,000 sailors in 390 boats gathered in Dun Laoghaire for Ireland's biggest sailing event is; 'will there be wind?'
After two years of planning, organisers fears of a repeat of the inaugural 2005 event, when the event was becalmed for four days, are, it appears unfounded.
UK Met guru Dr. Simon Keeling says, 'hang in there, the winds are coming!'
Last Saturday for DBSC racing, the bay produced a sparkling 15-20 knot sea breeze in bright sunshine (photos and results here) but since then there's been nothing, but glassy calm, heavy, humid air plus a lot of local theories as to why the sea breeze has disappeared.
The good news, according to Keeling of Weatherweb.net, who supplies regular weekly forecasts to Dun Laoghaire marina berth holders, is that conditions look more favourable for a sea breeze tomorrow, although only light.
By Friday, the UK based Keeling says 'winds will turn to the NW around F3 or F4 as high pressure retreats leaving a residual ridge behind'.
We'll keep our fingers crossed.
The warm, sunny weather with temperatures in the high 20s is forecast to last for the rest of the week and the weekend, when traditionally many people take to the water and enjoy outdoor activities.
Irish Coast Guard manager Declan Geoghegan said: “Warmer weather encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors and brings thousands of people to our coastlines, to our beaches and the outdoors. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors but to remember to take simple, basic advice about staying safe on the water and along cliff paths, when hill walking and enjoying the outdoors.
"Time and again, we see people ignoring basic safety advice, taking risks and then getting into difficulty, sometimes leading to loss of life. The coastguard is a 24/7 service but we must again advise caution as too many people are taking risks and ignoring our advice.”
Last month the Irish Coast Guard launched its first TV water safety campaign, as well as a summer campaign designed to protect children on beaches and near coastlines. The coastguard made available thousands of free waterproof wristbands under the ‘Give Us A Hand’ campaign.
“This summer we began our 2013 safety awareness campaign in May and we want to strongly get across the safety message to families, leisure users and the fishing industry about going out on the water," said Geoghegan.
"We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors this summer weather but remember to heed our advice to ensure that you and your family and friends stay safe."