Very wet winter brought six named storms to Ireland

Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry and Imogen lashed country since December

Statistics recently released by Met Éireann reveal the severity of December's conditions and the overall weather picture for 2015.


February brought a cold end to an extremely wet winter that saw six named storms unleash heavy rainfaill and strong winds across the country.

All mean air temperatures for February were below their long term averages. Belmullet reported its coolest February in six years with a monthly mean teperature of 6 degrees (0.4 degrees lower than average).

Rainfall levels during the month ranged from 109 per cent of the long term average at Phoenix Park to 224 per cent at Roche’s Point, Co Cork, according to the Met Éireann monthly summary.

Newport Co Mayo recorded the highest rainfall in the State with 237.6mm. The wettest days of the month were mainly the 8th, 9th, 16th, 26th and 29th with the most rainfall in a day also reported at Newport, Co Mayo, on the 9th with 56.2mm – its wettest February day since 1960.

The warmest conditions were mainly on the 1st, 20th and 21st with the month’s highest air temperature of 14.1 degrees reported at Fermoy, Co Cork, on February 21st.

The lowest air minimum was minus 5.9 degrees at Mullingar, Co Westmeath, while the lowest grass minimum was minus 10.4 degrees at Carlow.

Two named storms occurred in February: Henry on February 1st and Imogen on February 7th and 8th. February was cooler than December and January with nearly all seasonal mean air temperatures above their long term average. Some Dublin stations reported their warmest winter in eight or nine years, with Phoenix Park reporting its warmest winter since 1998.

Highest winter maxima were mainly recorded between December 17th and 19th with the highest seasonal maximum of 16.0°C reported at Malin Head, Co Donegal, on December 17th – its highest winter maximum since 1955.

All seasonal rainfall totals were all above average, with double, or more than, average totals reported in parts of the south, east and south east midlands. December saw the wettest conditions, with more than 300 per cent of long term average levels reported in parts of the South.

More than half of stations reported their wettest winter on record. Dublin Airport and Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, reported rainfall totals of 371.6mm and 514.6mm respectively. Malin Head reported its wettest winter on record since 1885 with a seasonal accumulation of 567.3 mm with 80.6mm reported on December 5th, the season’s wettest day and the wettest day at the station since 1955.

There were four named storms in December and January: Desmond, Eva, Frank and Gertrude. The season’s highest gust of 73 knots (135 km/h) was reported at both Belmullet, Co Mayo on December 23rd (Storm Eva) and Sherkin Island, Co Cork on February 8th.