Large waves hit Tragumna in west Cork on 27 September 2023 Alamy Stock Photo
Broken Records

From heatwave to Storm Agnes: Both rainfall and temperatures above September average

The autumn month began with a heatwave and ended with the first named storm of the year.

BOTH RAIN AND temperatures were above average in September, according to Met Éireann, in a month that ranged from one extreme to another.

The autumn month began with a heatwave and ended with the first named storm of the year.

Met Éireann’s climate statement for September, released today, details that temperatures and sunshine were above average everywhere in the country and rainfall was higher than average in most areas.

Average temperatures ranged from 13.6 degrees Celsius at Knock Airport to 15.7 degrees at Shannon Airport. The highest temperature of the entire month was 28.5 degrees at Oak Park in Carlow on the 8th – the highest reading recorded at that station of any September.

24 of Met Éireann’s weather stations reported their highest temperature of the year in September. 14 broke their September maximum temperature record, while 10 broke their September highest minimum temperature record. 

Four weather stations — in Roscommon, Clare, Carlow and Tipperary — report heatwaves between 4 and 8 September that lasted between five and six days.

Meanwhile, rainfall was also much higher than its September average.

At Valentia Observatory in Kerry, the monthly rainfall total was 189.33mm — 151% of its long-term average. Johnstown Castle in Wexford had its wettest September since 1974, while Roches Point and Cork Airport were at their wettest of any September since 2006. The highest daily rainfall total was 57.9mm at Mace Head in Galway on the 24th.

Around the world, the effects of climate change on weather and extreme weather events are becoming more evident, trapping heat in the atmosphere and making weather patterns more unstable.

Last year was Ireland’s warmest year on record — for the 12th year in a row. 

Met Éireann’s statement details how the start of September brought “one of the warmest spells of the year as a hot tropical-continental air mass moved over the country”. 

The second week of the month started with scattered thunderstorms and led into cooler weather with rain or showers on most days, becoming “widespread and heavy rain” between the 15th and 19th, followed closely by strong winds.

The final third of the month was “often windy” and culminated in Storm Agnes, which “brought further widespread heavy rain and the windiest period of the month”.

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