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Met Éireann's head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack in 2020 Sam Boal/

'Terrible forecasting' and overly cautious warnings: Complaints sent to Met Éireann in 2022

Some people hit out at Met Éireann’s predictions, while others complained about its website.

‘OVERLY CAUTIOUS’ WEATHER warnings, ‘terrible’ forecasting and ‘awful’ changes to the website were among issues raised among hundreds of complaints sent to Met Éireann this year.

On the whole it was a slightly less eventful year in Ireland compared to 2020 or 2021 as the country returned to a sense of normality following the Covid-19 pandemic. The same was the case when it came to weather events this year, with no massive events like Storm Ophelia or Beast from the East. 

Nonetheless, transcripts of complaints released to The Journal reveal that, just like in previous years, the public had dozens of issues to raise with Ireland’s meteorological service between 1 January and 5 October of this year.

Complaints ranged from problems with Met Éireann predictions, to dissatisfaction with changes made to the forecaster’s website, to how the forecaster sets alerts for certain weather events.

Weather warnings 

In one complaint sent in on 17 February, one person in Limerick questioned why a Status Red weather warning had not been issued for the county during Storm Eunice, while it had been for almost all the surrounding counties.

“I am wondering why Cork, Kerry and Clare are always considered a red warning and Limerick is not? We feel the brunt of the storm every time. Storm Barra did considerable damage and we were not issued with a red warning,” the person wrote.

“Can you please reconsider your warnings … There is not much difference between Clare and Limerick, especially given where we live,” they said.

Similarly, someone else wrote: “Today you have issued red alerts for counties Cork, Kerry and Clare and as usual Limerick is ignored. My question is why? My experiences show that we do suffer just as much as the inland portions of Cork, Kerry and Clare. It’s not as if there is some invisible barrier surrounding Limerick that makes winds avoid us.”

Prior to the arrival of Storm Eunice on the night of 17 February, Met Éireann issued a Status Red wind warning for Cork, Clare, Kerry and Waterford, with the forecaster warning the storm could pose a risk to life.

Storm Eunice 014 A member of the public battling with the windy conditions on Dublin's Ha'Penny Bridge during Storm Eunice Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

A Status Orange snow warning was also issued for Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon. Another Status Orange wind warning was issued for all other counties in Munster – including Limerick – as well as Galway, Dublin, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Laois and Kildare.

The following day, thousands of homes, farms and businesses were left without power following the gale force winds of the storm. The southwest of the country bore the brunt of the storm and power outages were most widespread in Kerry and Cork.

While numerous people complained about warnings being issued for certain counties not being severe enough, one person complained that Met Éireann was being “overly cautious” with its warning issued for Dublin during the storm.

They wrote on 18 February: 

I’m concerned that Met Éireann is being overly cautious with weather colour warnings and maybe panicking by increasing these as storms approach and media coverage increases.

“Dublin parks are closed this morning and not a left is blowing on a tree here. No branches fell and it was a non-event. How was this orange for Dublin?”

According to Met Éireann, warnings are issued during severe weather to save lives and protect the livelihoods of people across the country, as well as to mitigate damage to property and disturbance to economic activity.

Warnings are issued across three colour codes – yellow (least severe), orange and red (most severe) – whenever weather conditions meeting certain thresholds are anticipated within a 48-hour period.

Hazards for which the forecaster issues the warnings include wind, rain, snow, low temperatures, high temperatures, fog, thunderstorms and coastal wind warnings.
Met Éireann also issues other types of warnings, such as various marine warnings and environmental warnings.

Screenshot 2022-12-14 092630 Status Orange and Yellow weather warnings in place during the cold snap this month

In another instance on 10 April, one person questioned why a weather warning had not been issued for the previous night.

“I can’t understand why there’s no wind warning tonight for the west coast … The roof is shaking on the house, wind speed and gusts must be well over 120km/h,” the person wrote to Met Éireann.


Unsurprisingly, and similarly to previous years, Met Éireann also received some complaints regarding its general weather predictions.

On 11 February, one person contacted Met Éireann to say they look at the forecaster’s website each morning and that they found it to be inaccurate at times.

They said:

At least for Ulster, it is generally not accurate for either temperature or rainfall. The wind speed is always exaggerated – most of us don’t live on top of a mountain!

On 31 January, another person somewhat vaguely wrote: “Yet again, you are totally wrong about the weather in Ulster today.”

Met Éireann was accused of having “terrible” forecasting in June, by one complainant.

“The detailed forecasting from Met Éireann has been terrible. Today, for example, Thursday 2 June, has been a washout with rain all day in Sligo. This was not in the forecast earlier in the week,” they wrote.

Brittas Bay 033 People enjoying the sunshine on Brittas Bay beach in So Wicklow on 9 August Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Ireland experienced hot conditions throughout the month of July.

On 18 July, the country recorded its hottest temperature in 135 years, with the Met Éireann measuring site at the Phoenix Park topping out at 33 degrees at 3pm on the day. Outside of Dublin, temperatures above 30 degrees were recorded in several counties including Cavan, Roscommon and Carlow.

A Status Yellow warning was in place at the time due to what forecasters described as “exceptionally warm weather”.

The same day, someone who lived along “the coast” in Ireland wrote to Met Éireann saying they had “largely missed out” on the “mini-heatwave”.

“The weather has been predominantly cloudy and has also been extremely windy. So, while it may have been 33 degrees in inland Dublin today, the weather has been a big disappointment here,” they said.

The following day, another person wrote to the forecaster to say: “During the recent ‘heatwave’, reports did not refer to parts of the country that did not experience the really high temperatures. I live in the southwest but it seems that Met Éireann are only concerned with the east coast.”

It should be noted that nationwide forecasting is always available from Met Éireann.

In a statement to The Journal, Met Éireann said its mission is to “monitor, analyse and predict Ireland’s weather and climate, and to provide a range of high quality meteorological and related information”. 

forty foot 071 People swimming at the Forty Foot in Dublin on 18 July Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

Website issues

Meanwhile, just like the last few years, Met Éireann continued to receive a significant number of complaints this year related to its website and app. An major website and app update was launched in April 2018.

However, Met Éireann said in its statement to The Journal that its development of its app and website is “continuous and ongoing, taking account and usage trends, user feedback and technology development”. 

“The Met Éireann website,, was most recently updated in June 2022, bringing in resposive webpages which are easier to view across a wider range of devices,” it said. 

“The range of hourly forecast information available for user specific location was also increased.” 

Despite the regular updates, it’s evident people are still facing difficulties with the app and website.

Last year saw a large amount of complaints being made about the forecaster’s app, and although some complaints were again made about the app this year, the past 12 months saw many people contacting Met Éireann over problems they were having with the website.

In March and April, multiple people complained to Met Éireann about the rainfall radar on the website not working properly.

One person questioned: 

For a couple of days now, the rainfall radar map window on is only a blank space. I refreshed numerous times to no avail. What is going on there?

Another example of a complaint about the radar outlined: “The weather graph for rainfall forecast is blank. This was a brilliant resource and it is badly missed.”

In June, someone contacted Met Éireann to say the “old website was simple, clear and easy to navigate”. However, they added: “Your recent changes are a complete mess. It’s impossible to find how to access the rain radar map or where to find regional and national forecasts.”

Just a day after this complaint was sent to Met Éireann, another person contacted the forecast to complain that the “new website is awful”.

“I used to use the website all the time on my iPhone but new one is junk,” they said.

Another person said they were “really disappointed with the new website”.

“You no longer provide the daily and five-day forecast chart on the landing page which was really helpful and surprisingly accurate.”

download (9) The rainfall radar on Met Éireann's website

Numerous people had issued with Met Éireann’s website not being able to accurately detect their location.

On 30 June one person said: “Your geolocation doesn’t seem to work quite right since your last website update.”

Earlier that month, another person said a location in Northern Ireland appeared as the default location on Met Éireann’s website, but that they were in Co Louth.

“Why does Mullyleggan appear as the default location on the site, a location in NI that I do not recognise? I live in Blackrock, Co Louth and the site does not remember that location when I open it,” they said.

Looking at a complaint made about the forecaster’s apps, someone wrote to Met Éireann outlining that they had changed from using an iOS tablet to an Android tablet.

“Your app is significantly more inferior in Android,” they said.

Speaking to The Journal at Met Éireann’s Glasnevin HQ in December 2019 for an episode of The Explainer podcast, head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack responded to criticism regarding the website and app.

Cusack said she understood that “some people have great nostalgia” and that people liked Met Éireann’s previous website.

“They really don’t want to move to the newfangled one,” she said.

Met Éireann said in its statement: “Met Éireann is focussed on maintaining and developing an expert, professional workforce and infrastructure to support weather and climate. 

“We aim to keep pace with accelerating scientific and technological advancement and strive to maintain awareness of scientific and technical developments. 

All our products and services are users focused. We always welcome feedback from users as it helps us to improve and service we provide to the public.”

Details of the complaints received by Met Éireann this year were released to The Journal under the Freedom of Information Act. Names and other identifying details of the complainants were not disclosed, in keeping with policy.

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