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Displaying items by tag: Met Eireann

A former hyper-active hurricane, only very recently re-classed as a severe tropical storm, hits southwest Ireland at dawn from south of southwest on a mid-October Monday morning writes W M Nixon. It spends the entire day tracking destructively across country, until it finally departs from our island to the northeast.

It sounds like the demented scenario for a majestic blockbuster movie. Such a mega-film would use special effects to get the full impact of the various disasters which arise as this Enemy of the People – personalized by being called Storm Ophelia - does her worst to provide extreme conditions in which people (inevitably a cast of thousands) will dramatically respond in their many and various ways, some truly selfless, others anything but.

It would definitely be a big budget production. We can know that for certain. For on this post-storm morning, with weather of surreal and gentle beauty after Ophelia has gone on her way, the cost of clearing, repair and re-build will surely run to many millions when all is finally put right, which will certainly be months rather than days or weeks.

Yet how have we as a people and an island nation emerged from it? The feeling is encouraging. There seems to be a heightened sense of ourselves in a fairly benign light, an awareness that when push comes to shove, our infrastructure and emergency services can rise to the challenge, provided all the people of Ireland quietly help them by not making unreasonable demands for their assistance.

For sure, three deaths is three deaths too many, particularly as in two cases it involved the victims helping others. But in the wholesale felling of trees, the destruction of property with the particularly horrible risk of flying debris, and in the hour after hour of the flooding of rivers and the battering of coasts and harbour with boats at risk everywhere, people took expert advice and generally kept themselves as much as possible out of harm’s way.

And this of course is where we realize how much things have moved on from our previous experiences of extreme weather conditions. Meteorology has advanced so much with short-term forecasts achieving such precision that those who had business out of the house which simply had to be dealt with knew to within half an hour when they absolutely had to be back safely indoors.

So Met Eireann now has even more respect as a National Treasure. As for the comforting presence of a sensible stream of practical advice from the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG), that was exactly what was needed to encourage everyone to be sensible and avoid unnecessary risks, while its Chairman Sean Hogan has become the nation’s poster boy for “Keeping Calm in the Midst of Storms”.

With the main drama being played outdoors, inevitably there were those who had to take on risky repair and remedial work in exposed places at the scene of damage, and the rest of us were lost in admiration for the Electricity Service teams. Most of us know little enough about how electricity works in the first place, yet these guys not only has to know it in life and death situations, but they had to be skilled foresters and tree surgeons as well as they went about their highly dangerous tasks.

Rosslare yacht opheliaConditions were extremely challenging with force nine winds with a six metre sea swell when Rosslare RNLI went to rescue this yacht in the Irish Sea

Finally, there’s the episode of that rescue by the Rosslare Lifeboat of a yacht in distress at the height of the storm. Some day we’ll learn just how the yacht was there at all, for heaven knows Ophelia had been well signaled for days in advance. But oddly enough, that’s not too important this morning, What is important is that Cox’n Eamonn O’Rourke and his crew – all volunteers – were assembled within minutes, they carried out a text-book rescue with clinical precision, and the country could return to keeping itself safe for the day, as we’d been advised to.

Because although there’d been some grumblings that the warnings beforehand were surely tending towards exaggeration, they weren’t. The three tragic deaths were three deaths too many, and infinitely sad. But yesterday could have been a continuing litany of personal tragedies if people had deluded themselves that they could have got away with cheating such a prodigious force of nature.

So we emerge from our encounter with Storm Ophelia with a heightened sense of ourselves as a mature nation. Ireland is unique – a medium-sized island on the leeward side of one of the roughest oceans in the world. Our population is such that we have to stretch resources to provide the services and expertise which countries with larger populations can take in their stride.

Yet when Storm Ophelia tested those services, Ireland was not found wanting. And we Irish conducted ourselves like sensible adults who will accept a certain amount of discipline when it is presented to us in a competent and reasonable manner.

On this, the day after the storm, we can feel quietly proud of being Irish.

Published in Weather
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The Coast Guard advises caution to public as Met Éireann warns of heavy swell on Atlantic Coast later on Sunday.

Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of the Coast Guard as Met Éireann has issued a status yellow wind warning with some very strong west, veering northwest winds expected to affect western and south western coastal counties later Sunday, overnight and into Monday morning with very high seas along the coasts during this period.

The Coast Guard advises the public to be careful on exposed coasts, cliffs and piers, harbour walls and promenades along the Atlantic seaboard particularly at high tide.
Remember to Stay Back, Stay High and Stay Dry.

If you see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in Coastguard
2nd March 2016

Say Hello to Storm Jake

Storm Jake has been officially named by Met Éireann. The strongest gusts will mainly affect Ireland with lower impacts for the UK.

Winds will strengthen around southwest parts of the UK through this morning, particularly as a band of showers moves southeastwards across parts of Wales and southwest England.

Along the band of showers there is scope for some locally squally winds and so disruption to travel but the period of strongest winds will be short lived.

Latest track of Storm Jake

#StormJake has been officially named by Met Éireann. The strongest gusts will mainly affect Ireland with lower impacts for the UK.Winds will strengthen around southwest parts of the UK through Wednesday morning, particularly as a band of showers moves southeastwards across parts of Wales and southwest England. Along the band of showers there is scope for some locally squally winds and so disruption to travel but the period of strongest winds will be short lived.

Posted by Met Office on Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Published in Weather
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#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

#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

#WaveRecord - The waves just keep getting higher off Ireland's coast!

Following our report in January this year that the M3 weather buoy measured the second highest wave off the West Cork coast comes news of an even bigger swell just a few weeks later.

Met Éireann's Columba Creamer informs us of a maximum individual wave height of 21.91 metres recorded on the night of Monday 23 February.

That's more than two metres clear of the previous record set by the MM3 weather buoy in January 2013, and marks the fourth highest wave recorded across Ireland's buoy network.

But there's more, as Monday 26 January saw Ireland's biggest ever wave – a 23.44-metre whopper – recorded by the M4 buoy off Donegal.

Creamer – Met Éireann's port meteorological officer, who quality controls data streams from Ireland's buoy network – says the four Fugro buoys (labelled M2, M3, M4 and M5) measure significant wave height, individual wave height, swell height, wind wave height, period and direction for each wave type.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Weather - Met Éireann says a Status Yellow weather warning is in effect for Ireland's coastal waters as the remains of Hurricane Gonzalo are set to sweep over the country from tonight (Monday 20 October).

Mariners are warned to take care as southwesterly gusts and gales are expected to develop this evening, turning northwesterly later tonight and bringing with them heavy rainfall and severe squalls in some areas, particularly in the north and northeast.

Published in Weather

#wave – A new maximum wave height measuring nearly 80–feet (23 metres) has been recorded in weekend storms off the coast of Ireland.

Monster waves the height of five double deck buses occurred during last weekend's ferocious storms off the coast of Donegal, the worst for 30 years, according to Donegal news sources.

The M4 weather buoy, located off the Northwest coast, recorded a new maximum individual wave height of 23.4 metres at 15.00 on Sunday 26th January 2014 during the weekend storm that prompted an orange alert by the Coast Guard.

The new wave measurement easily surpasses the previous record of 20.4 metres at the same location in December 2011, according to Met Eireann.

The M4 buoy is one of a new generation of weather buoys with the ability to measure maximum wave height as well as the more usual Significant Wave Height.

The Significant Wave Height is defined as the average height of the highest one-third of the waves and that is what our forecasts of wave height refer to.

In general, the highest wave of all will be about twice the Significant Wave Height.

There was also a record for maximum significant wave height for the M4 buoy of 15.3m at the same time, with the previous record being 14.7m. The all-time record for Significant Wave Height still rests with the M6 buoy of 17.2m.

more from Met Eireann on this story here

Published in Weather
Tagged under

#storm – Met Eireann have issued a 'status red' weather warning for Western and Northwestern counties, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

Storms will develop later today, with strong south to southwest winds expected over those counties, with damaging gusts of 120 to 150 km/h this afternoon and evening. This will also lead to very high seas.

 

Published in Weather
Tagged under

#Weather - Met Éireann has developed a new smartphone app providing up-to-date weather forecasts for those on the go - especially on the water.

The new app features the latest reports, radar information and satellite imagery with both local and provincial forecasts, with specific forecasts tailored to Ireland's sea area and inland lakes, coastal reports and ferry crossings as well as Atlantic charts.

Users can also adapt the app preferences for their specific location and needs, whether you're aiming to go boating in our inland waterways or go fishing off the coast.

The Met Éireann app is now on iTunes to download for the iPhone, and an Android version is also available.

Published in Weather
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