Storm Barra and Other Memorable Storms in the Past 10 Years

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Storms in Ireland

Today as Ireland is battered by Storm Barra, one of the strongest storms in years, we look at some of the most memorable storms from the past 10 years.

Five Storms to Remember in Ireland 2011 – 2021    

2021 – Storm Barra

Coming in from the Atlantic, this storm has resulted in the issuing of a level warning for most of the west and southwest of the country. Red Level means a threat to life. Winds have been recorded in the southwest, at Sherkin Island off Cork, of more than 130kph. 59,000 customers are without power and growing. 

Cork city centre has been flooded and all the temporary structures erected around the country to accommodate outdoor dining are being destroyed by the winds. Schools, hospitals and businesses in the southwest and west have been closed today. Vaccination centres have also been closed in the west and southwest. 

Storms in Ireland
Storm Barra, weather warning from Met Eireann

2017 – Storm Ophelia

In October 2017, Storm Ophelia was the worst storm to hit Ireland in 50 years. A Red Level warning was issued as gusts of wind reached 191km at the Fastnet Rock off the coast of Cork, the highest ever recorded in Ireland. 360,000 homes were without power during the storm and schools were closed. Ophelia also holds the record for the number of people killed during the storm – seven people died as a result either from falling trees or flying debris. 

2016 – Storm Desmond

In December 2016, Storm Desmond ravaged the west coast of Ireland and caused flooding in Galway. It was an extratropical cyclone and brought a plume of moist air known as an atmospheric river. This resulted in record amounts of rainfall, 189 per cent of normal during the storm. It became memorable for this video by RTE’s Western Correspondent, Teresa Mannion. Buildings were damaged and travel was disrupted

2014 – Storm Darwin

Storm Darwin is memorable for causing the highest waves ever recorded in Ireland in February of that year. The hurricane-force winds saw the Kinsale Energy Gas Platform record maximum wave height of 25 metres, 80ft. Over 200,000 homes around the country had no power, and more than seven million trees were blown down. It was called Darwin as it occurred on the 205th birthday of Charles Darwin.

2011 – Hurricane Katia 

Hurricane Katia visited Ireland in September from the United States. It began as a Category Four hurricane and kept its momentum, crossing the Atlantic to cause havoc in Ireland. Winds reached over 120km on the west and northwest coast, knocking out power lines and blocking roads with fallen trees. Huge waves caused transport chaos and damaged buildings and trees. Met Eireann had to issue an extreme weather warning as winds reached over 120kmh in the north and northwest. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do these storms impact daily life in Ireland?

These storms have significant repercussions for Ireland, ranging from widespread power outages and property damage to disrupted travel, school closures, and even loss of life. The nation rallies together to respond to these challenges and ensure safety.

2. How does Ireland prepare for storms like these?

The Irish meteorological service, Met Eireann, plays a pivotal role in monitoring and predicting severe weather events. They issue warnings and advisories to help residents and authorities prepare for and respond to storms, safeguarding lives and property.

3. Are there emergency measures in place during these storms?

Yes, during severe storms, Irish authorities may issue various levels of warnings, such as Red Level warnings, indicating a threat to life. These warnings prompt the implementation of emergency measures, including school closures, evacuation procedures, and power outage response plans.

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