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Specialist sailing weather forecaster Mike Broughton of winningwind.com says tomorrow's Round Ireland Race will be a tough and challenging one

‘Looks like we have light sea breezes for the start in fine and sunny conditions – but it’s all going to change.

For start time we have a ridge of high pressure over Wicklow bringing a light sea breeze that will veer to south westerly winds increasing 12-17 knots by early evening, giving a beat south towards Tuskar Rock. Then we have unsettled conditions from midnight as the first of possibly seven fronts to pass the fleet over the next four days. The first warm front will bring light rain and SW winds of 9-15 knots – still giving a beat along the south coast.

By Sunday afternoon, we have a complex, mid Atlantic low pressure system that will dominate the weather from Sunday to Tuesday, bringing several fronts, with rain and winds to gale force mainly from the south west to west-south-west. It looks like a tough and challenging beat on Sunday afternoon/evening around the Fastnet area, particularly for the smaller boats. We can expect winds to 40 knots and seas 3.5 to 4.0 metres.

The low pressure looks to deepen through Sunday and by midnight is forecast to be 300 miles south of Iceland and will then start to slowly fill. Leaving most of the fleet in WSW winds along the west coast on Monday morning, giving fast reaching conditions north, still in waves around 3.5 metres. Winds for Monday afternoon to Tuesday evening still look to be strong (mainly 24-34 knots) from the WSW and giving fast broad reaching conditions across the north coast. Whilst winds on the NE coast will be lighter in the lee of the mainland. Winds east of Dublin will be down to 10 knots by Thursday – mainly from WSW to SW.

Overall, it looks like a tough and challenging race, with plenty of opportunities to make gains from the predictable shifts from passing fronts. Rough seas close to the Fastnet and all along the west coast.

Best of luck to my many friends out there doing the race – it will be one to remember!

 

Published in Round Ireland

#WaterSafety - Howth Coast Guard has advised walkers to avoid the harbour's East Pier today (Sunday 10 April) due to the danger of breaking waves.

It comes as Met Éireann issues a Status Yellow weather warning for most of the country over strong winds, heavy rainfall and high spring tides with the moon at perigee.

Cork is the worst hit by the current deluge with many parts of the city hit by flooding this morning, as The Irish Times reports.

Gale warnings and small craft warnings are currently in effect around the coast, as easterly gales are expected to surpass Force 6 from Erris Head to Fair Head to Wicklow Head.

Coast Guard unit at scene. More reports coming in of other coastal areas being exposed to waves breaking endangering the...

Posted by Howth Coast Guard on Sunday, 10 April 2016
Published in Water Safety

#Aurora - Skywatchers in Northern Ireland were treated to a spectacular light show last night (Monday 7 March) as a "lucky combination" of weather conditions made the aurora borealis visible across much of the country.

The video below, via Tam Mullen and the Belfast Telegraph, shows how the Northern Lights looked over Belfast and Lough Neagh.

Published in Weather

#Rowing: The St Michael’s Head of the River, due to be held on Saturday, February 20th, has been cancelled. The club announced that “due to the recent severe weather we have to announce the cancellation of this years’ Head of the River event at O’Briensbridge, County Clare. We hope to stage the event on an alternative date this year. We apologise for this cancellation. However weather conditions has made the staging of the event on  February 20th unsafe."

Published in Rowing

#StormImogen - Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange alert for all coastal areas from midnight tonight (Sunday 7 February) as Storm Imogen sweeps in.

The warning is already in effect for mariners in all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea with south-west to west games or strong gales expected, reaching storm force over night from Carnsore Point to Mizen Head to Slyne Head.

Cork and Kerry are expected to bear the brunt of this latest Atlantic depression, with mean wind speeds between 65 and 75kmh and gusts of up to 120kmh.

A Status Yellow wind warning has been declared for Clare, Limerick and Waterford active from 2am tonight, with mean wind speeds and gusts only slightly less severe.

And nationwide there is a Status Yellow weather advisory in place from midnight, with "extreme waves" between 12 and 15m predicted along the South West and West Coasts.

It follows a blustery fortnight that began with Storm Jonas – which brought much of the north-eastern US to a standstill with heavy snowfall and blizzards – buzzing north-west of Britain and Ireland, followed quickly by Storm Gertrude and most recently Storm Henry.

Published in Weather
Tagged under
30th January 2016

Neptune Head Cancelled

#Rowing: The Neptune Head of the River at Blessington had to be cancelled this morning because of bad weather. The organisers had been ready to go ahead but conditions were not rowable. This is a double blow for the event, as it had originally been fixed for November and had to be called off because of a bad weather forecast.

Published in Rowing
28th January 2016

Neptune Head Set to Go Ahead

#Rowing: The organisers of the Neptune Head of the River this Saturday, December 30th, have decided to go ahead with the event. The weather forecast is for winds of 12 to 20 kilometres per hour at Blessington, which would leave the course rowable. The course has to be laid, and there is a chance that the event could yet be cancelled, but only if the weather forecast changes significantly. 

Published in Rowing

As the rest of the country deals with the fall out of the flooding, the south east got the best of the measured total sunshine hours yesterday (in hours). 

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under

#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
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