Wettest December for decades in some places as month brought wind and rain

All parts of the country were wetter and warmer than usual, says Met Éireann

Motorists negotiate a way through flooded roads near Enniskerry , Co. Wicklow.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Motorists negotiate a way through flooded roads near Enniskerry , Co. Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke

Fri, Jan 3, 2014, 01:01

Parts of the country had their wettest December in two decades, according to figures released by Met Éireann.

Cork Airport recorded 211mms of rain during the month, its wettest December since 1989. Moorepark near Fermoy, which has experienced recent flooding, had its wettest December since 1993.

Most of the rain was concentrated in the second-half of the month and has led to flooding as the wet weather continues into the new year.

Valentia Observatory in Co Kerry recorded its wettest December in 14 years with 266.6mm (the equivalent of 10.5 inches) falling during the month, including 30mm on December 30th.

Belmullet in Co Mayo recorded 24.6mm of rain on December 14th and Moorepark 23mm on December 30th, respectively their highest daily rainfalls for a December day in seven years.

All parts of the country experienced significantly more rainfall than usual which ranged from Sherkin Island off west Cork (101 per cent) to Athenry, Co Galway, with 220.3mm of rain (178 per cent of normal).

The number of wet days (days with 1mm or more) ranged from 15 to 26 at most stations.

It was also an extremely windy month. The highest recorded gust was at Mace Head near Galway city where a wind speed of 78 knots (144km/h) was recorded on December 18th.

Gale force winds were reported on 20 days during the month and storm force winds were reported on six days.

Lightning activity was recorded on almost half of the days of the month with the heaviest activity on December 21st.

The heavy rainfall came from Atlantic depressions and the prevailing south-westerlies, meaning that it was warmer than normal in all parts of the country.

Some stations in the west, east and midlands reported their warmest December since 1988. Dublin Airport had its warmest December since 1991, while Malin Head recorded its highest recorded December temperature of 15.2 degrees on December 12th.

Last year there was a cold spring and warm summer with temperatures around normal for the rest of the year. As a result, most weather stations reported temperatures and rainfall near normal for the year.

Belmullet recorded an average temperature of 10.2 degrees in 2013, just 0.1 degree below the average. Rainfall at 1,056.3mm was 20 per cent below the annual average of 1,244.8mm.

The average temperature at Dublin Airport was 9.4 degrees, 0.4 degress below the annual average of 9.8 degrees. Temperatures and rainfall at Cork Airport and Mullingar were almost exactly the annual average.

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