Conamara’s Mace Head was windiest place across the country during Isha

ALTHOUGH we had a drier than average January field conditions across the West of Ireland continue to be categorised as ‘saturated’ by Met Éireann.

Any gains made in terms of fields drying out during two extended rain-free periods in January have been cancelled out with a wet enough start to February.

Thursday and Friday of last week (Feb. 8/9) brought nearly an inch of rain to many places across the West – 15.8mms. on the 8th and 6.9mms on the 9th, at the Met Éireann station in Athenry.

According to Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty, January was a real month of contrasts with two lengthy dry periods – Jan. 2 to the 19th and January 25 to the 31st.

Over the course of the month, he recorded just 3.46 inches of rainfall (88mms.) with one of our wettest periods coinciding with two named storms – Isha on the 21st and Jocelyn on the 24th.

Although there were three officially named storms during January, here in Ireland we missed the first one – Storm Henk on the 2nd – which only impacted on southern parts of the UK.

According to the Met Éireann January 2024 weather summary their weather station at Mace Head, south-west Conamara, was the windiest place in the country during Storm Isha, Sunday, January 21.

A gust of 137km/h ((85mph) was recorded at Mace Head during Isha while it also had the highest 10-minute wind speed at 105km/h (just over 65mph), the latter being the highest ever recorded at the station.

Isha, which left tens of thousands without power across the country, with storm force winds recorded at five Met Éireann stations and ‘violent storm force’ at one station.

The coldest spot across the island of Ireland during January was in Athenry on Thursday, January 18, when the mercury dropped down to –7.3°C (lowest minimum air temp. at Athenry since 1994).

As well as rainfall being below the January average, temperatures also took something of a dip – down in places by -1.4°C on the LTA (long term average) with rainfall also below the norm.

Pictured: Brendan Geraghty: Farmers hoping for a dry March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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