Record rainfall levels in June

Mon, Jul 2, 2012, 01:00

Record rainfall levels were recorded across Ireland in June except in parts of Dublin, according to Met Éireann’s weather summary.

It was very wet, cold and dull everywhere in June. Cork Airport recorded its wettest and dullest June since records began there in 1962. A total of 228.3mms (nine inches) fell in the month nearly three times the average.

That was 282 per cent or almost three times the average rainfall. Much of it fell last week when extraordinary downpours brought flash flooding to the city.

There was only 93 hours of sunshine, scarcely half of the monthly average.

The month was characterised by torrential downpours. The heaviest fall of rain was on June 22nd in Malin Head where 50.9mms (two inches) of rain fell in a single day.

The wettest days were on June 7th and 8th when there was rain particularly in the south. Shannon Airport recorded 41.8mms on the 7th, its highest for June since 1947. The number of really wet days (10mms) or more ranged from three at Valentia Observatory to eight at Phoenix Park and Fermoy.

Only Dublin Airport and the Phoenix Park did not have record amounts of rainfall for June.

Mean temperatures were all below average with differences of around 1 degree at Johnstown Castle and Malin Head with both recording their coolest June since 1991.

To cap a thoroughly miserable month, sunshine levels were below average everywhere with only Belmullet (96 per cent) approaching anything near normal.

Unfortunately, the forecast for this week is for the wet weather to continue with sporadic showers.

“We’re still in for an unsettled week ahead. Everybody is going to get rain. Nobody is going to escape,” said Met Éireann forecaster Gobnait McSweeney.

“We’re going to have some scattered showers. A few of them could be heavy with a risk of thunder.”

Temperatures today will be around normal at between 17 and 20 degrees because of southerly breezes.

A showery band of rain is expected across the country tonight bringing heavy rainfall to the Munster area which has already borne the brunt of the recent flash flooding.

Wednesday will also be a showery day and Thursday will be little better. Friday looks like being the best day of the week.

The long-term rainfall averages for July show the month getting dramatically wetter in recent decades.

The average increase in rainfall in July across the country is 15 per cent, according to Met Éireann’s latest 30-year forecast for the years between 1981 and 2010 in comparison with the previous averages between 1961 and 1990.

On average, rainfall in the west of Ireland is up by 8 per cent and Valentia Observatory in Co Kerry is recording an average of a month’s extra rainfall every year.

However, Met Éireann has cautioned against seeing the increase in extreme rainfall as necessarily indicative of climate change.

The increases in July rainfall may be the result of the wet summers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the flood conditions of 2009 which were a once-in-500 years event for many parts of the west of Ireland.

Met Éireann senior climatologist Séamus Walsh said at the launch of the 30-year averages report: “There is no evidence that there is a change in the extreme values of rainfall.”