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Displaying items by tag: Weather

#Flooding - Moves to prevent flooding in the Shannon catchment may be in breach of EU habitats directives, as The Irish Times reports.

Next Tuesday (5 January) the Taoiseach is expected convene a meeting of all relevant State agencies to discuss flood measures along the River Shannon.

And according to Simon Harris, Minister of State for the OPW, some suggestions – such as dredging and flood barriers – "will breach the EU directives" as they pose a threat to fish and birdlife.

The Shannon and its catchment are home to a number of protected species from salmon to kingfishers.

But Minister Harris said flood prevention measures were a necessity when the river catchment faces "a humanitarian crisis in some areas" due to flooding that began with Storm Desmond nearly a month ago.

It's a situation that will only deteriorate over time, with Met Éireann indicating that climate models predict worsening winter floods further into this century.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#ClimateChange - Models to predict the future climate indicate that global temperatures will rise by an average of as much as 4.5C by the end of this century, bringing a rise in sea levels and changes to rainfall patterns.

And these changes in the weather are already being felt in Ireland, according to Met Éireann's head of climatology Séamus Walsh, who says that even slight shifts, such as an increase in the number of warm days over 20C, have "a knock-on effect on natural ecosystems" that have adapted to Ireland's climate.

"Fragile habitats in vulnerable upland, peatland and coastal areas will come under increasing stress," he adds, noting also a 5% increase in rainfall over the last three decades, more so in the West and North West.

"Climate projections for rainfall have greater uncertainty than for temperature," he explains. "They indicate that overall rainfall amounts in Ireland might decrease slightly, summers are likely to become drier while winters may be wetter, especially in the west and north."

There are also indications of an increase in the number of very wet days – days with rainfall over 20mm – which means that such projections, when applies to river flows, show "an increased risk of winter flooding, an increased risk of short duration ‘flash’ floods and to possible water shortages in summer months due to higher temperatures and lower rainfall.

"The rise in sea levels will make low lying coastal areas more prone to flooding, especially from storm surges," he adds.

Met Éireann has more on the story HERE.

Published in Weather

#StormFrank - Storm Frank may have passed but possible strong gales are still forecast for today (Thursday 31 December), making for a very windy New Year's Eve.

A Status Yellow marine warning has been issued by weather forecasters Met Éireann as southerly winds will increase to gale force this morning on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, veering westerly by afternoon and increasing to strong gale force at times.

Coastal counties from Donegal to Wexford are bracing for strong and gusty winds with means speeds between 50 and 65 kmh, gusting to as high as 110 kmh – the strongest of these expected in exposed areas of Connacht and Donegal.

Such high winds should be little surprise as Storm Frank brought near hurricane strength winds to Dublin Bay yesterday afternoon – though it's not yet confirmed whether the severe weather heralds the next winter storm of the season, which would be named Gertrude as per the full list revealed this week.

Met Éireann also reports that showers or longer outbreaks of rain will be widespread across the country, with thunderstorms possible, posing additional problems for areas already experiencing or at risk of flooding.

According to TheJournal.ie, the ESB advises that waters in Lough Derg could reach levels matching the destructive floods of 2009 over the next few days.

And the flood risk could continue for another three weeks as forecasts predict further heavy rains, as The Irish Times reports.

Published in Weather

#StormFrank - South to southeast gales have been forecast for all coasts on the Irish Sea today as Storm Frank advances from the Atlantic.

Met Éireann's Status Yellow marine warning, issued early this morning (Monday 28 December), advises that southwest winds veering northwest will reach gale force or a short time later today on all coasts from Mizen Head to Erris Head to Malin Head ahead of the sixth winter storm of the season.

Last night winds were predicted to gust as high as 95kmh in western coastal counties, while 30mm of rain could fall in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick – many of these areas still suffering from floods caused by Storm Desmond earlier this month.

As TheJournal.ie reports, Storm Frank is also expected to produce "exceptionally high Atlantic waves" on the North, West and South Coasts, which will be good news for Ireland's intrepid big wave surfers.

Published in Weather

#StormEva - A Status Orange gale warning is in effect for all Irish coastal waters as the fifth winter storm of the season moves in from the Atlantic today (Wednesday 23 December).

Storm Eva will see south to southwest gales or strong gales develop this afternoon on all coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, with winds reaching storm force at times on coasts from Valentia to Erris Head to Malin Head, according to Met Éireann.

The western counties of Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare will be worst affected, with winds gusting upwards of 100kmh from 1pm till late tonight, and gusts as strong as 120kmh at times between 4pm and 9pm.

Winds will only be marginally less strong throughout the rest of Ireland's coastal counties.

Storm Eva comes nearly three weeks after Storm Desmond's heavy rains caused widespread flooding that is still affecting areas along the Shannon catchment from Athlone to Limerick, as RTÉ News reports.

Published in Weather
Tagged under
16th December 2015

Ireland Rowing Trial Cancelled

#Rowing: The Ireland trials set for this weekend have been cancelled. Weather conditions at the National Rowing Centre in Cork would not have been suitable. The athletes set to compete will next trial at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships in Limerick on January 23rd. The weights allowed will 73kg for lightweight men and 59.5 kg for lightweight women, which are those carried forward from the proposed December trial.

Published in Rowing
15th December 2015

Ireland Trial in Doubt

#Rowing: The Ireland trial this weekend is in doubt. The National Assessment has been fixed for the National Rowing Centre at Farran Wood on Saturday and Sunday, December 19th and 20th, but the weather forecast is not good. Rowing Ireland has announced that a decision will be made on Wednesday. “The conditions at present do not look great. We are keeping a very close eye on the wind forecast as well as the amount of flood water coming into the lake.”

Published in Rowing

#Weather - Met Éireann has issued a rare Status Red rainfall warning for western counties as Storm Desmond barrels in from the Atlantic later today (Friday 4 December).

The Irish meteorological service warns of "incessant falls of heavy rain overnight and for all of Saturday" from Kerry to Donegal, with "accumulations in excess of 70mm expected" particularly on higher ground.

Slightly less rain is expected in Cavan, Limerick and Cork but accumulations of up to 70mm are likely, and will result in "flooding and treacherous driving conditions" throughout the western half of the country.

A Status Orange wind warning is in effect for the West Coast, with mean wind speeds of up to 75kmh from the southwest, gusting to 120kmh and strongest in coastal areas.

Met Éireann has declared Status Yellow for wind in Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Leinster and much of Munster with 100kmh gusts expected.

For those at sea, southwesterly gales will develop on all Irish coastal waters and in the Irish Sea as the day progresses, increasing to storm force this afternoon between Loop Head and Fair Head. A Status Yellow small craft warning is in effect.

Published in Weather

#Rowing: The Head of the Shannon, fixed for Carrick-on-Shannon this Saturday, December 5th, has been cancelled. The organisers say that the rising water levels on the river, combined with the forecast for the weekend, has left them with no alternative. The Muckross Head is also scheduled for Saturday, at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

Published in Rowing

#Weather - Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange wind warning for all parts of the country as weather conditions will see southwesterly winds veering westerly will reach means speeds of 60 to 80 kmh with gusts of up to 130kmh.

The national warning is in place till 3pm this afternoon (Sunday 29 November), though there is no current limit on the marine Status Orange of west to south west gales, later west to northwest, reaching strong gale or storm force during the day.

According to the UK's Met Office, this third storm system of the winter season has been officially named Storm Clodagh by Met Éireann as part of the new naming regime.

The storm system is bringing with it heavy showers particularly in western counties, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, and has already led to the postponement of today's planned RNLI Reindeer Run at Fota House and Gardens in Cork Harbour till a later date to be confirmed.

Also cancelled today were Royal Cork's Winter Yacht Racing League and on Dublin Bay, DBSC's Turkey Shoot series suffered another cancellation. The six race series has had four cancellations so far and has been extended until December to 20th to compensate.

Published in Weather
Tagged under
Page 3 of 13

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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