Country Living with Francis Farragher
Our soft landing from our beautiful Summer of 2018 into the darker days of Winter has been jolted a little bit this week with the prospect of wetter and windier days, but I suppose it is October, and on the law of averages we were due to get a bit of a lash.
Up until this week, our only ‘falling out’ with Mother Nature came on the Wednesday morning of September 19 when Storm Ali blew into town with quite a vengeance, claiming two lives and also forcing the cancellation of the Ploughing Championships that day.
September is of course the big hurricane month in the Northern Hemisphere and the power of the ‘original’ Debbie back on the 16th day of that month in 1961 still lives on in the lore of Irish weather and strange tales of the wind.
One of the little similarities between Debbie and Ali, that a number of people have brought to my attention, was the ‘burning’ impact of both weather events on hedges, weeds and vegetation.
Debbie wreaked havoc on late crops of corn that had yet to be harvested back in 1961, and in the aftermath of Ali last month, the sight of burnt docks leaves and the charred westward side of hedges, has been commonplace, even many miles inland from our Atlantic shores.
Now, Callum could be next up, and given the warm South Atlantic origins of that weather system, it’s worth keeping a close eye too. Where there’s heat and volatility, there can also be a lot of energy too, so it’s a time to keep the forecasts monitored quite diligently.
Apart from the short but very powerful fusillade fired by Ali, September delivered quite a decent mix of weather with a good sprinkling of rainfall well spread out over a number of days.
A fairly dry start to the month also allowed the harvest brigade to get their corn cut in relatively dry conditions although our drought periods during June and July did impact quite adversely on the length of the straw crop, and consequently on its volume as well.
Abbeyknockmoy weather man Brendan Geraghty observed this week, that compared to other parts of the country – most notably in the East, South-East and parts of Munster – Galway and the West of Ireland had enjoyed quite a charmed existence in terms of our weather mix over recent months.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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