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Wettest summer since 1997

THE summer was exceptionally wet in Shannon, but it was also the warmest place to be in Ireland, according to Met Éireann figures.

Rainfall in Shannon was 79% above average for the months of June, July and August, making it the wettest summer in the town since 1997. Overall there was just under 3.9 metres of rainfall, a huge amount for the time of year.

Shannon’s mean temperature for the summer was 15.2 degrees celsius, and while this was 0.3 degrees below average, it was still the highest mean temperature recorded across Met Éireann’s network of weather stations. It did get 381 hours of sunshine over the summer, but this was also below the expected amount.

The Met Éireann report on the summer said, “After a spring where a weakened Jetstream remained away from Ireland to the north or south, the summer of 2020 saw an unseasonally strong North Atlantic Jetstream dominating our weather, keeping it mostly unsettled and cool at times. From a relatively dry beginning, June saw two intense thunderstorm outbreaks, between the 13th and 16th and on the 25th and 26th, when warm humid air was drawn up from the southeast over the country. The Jetstream was most active near Ireland in the final third of the month with Atlantic low-pressure systems bringing rain or showers on most days.

“July saw the Azores High briefly pushing up over Ireland between the 9th and 11th and between the 19th and 21st but for most of the month Ireland was situated directly under, or on the northern side of the Jetstream, keeping it cool and wet with low pressure in charge. The Jetstream weakened for a while after the first week of August, which brought some dry pleasant days, but slow moving fronts and thundery continental low-pressure systems kept it mostly cloudy with heavy rain at times.

“The final third of August saw the Jetstream activate again in the Atlantic, which brought two named storms, Storm Ellen and Storm Francis over the country with widespread gales and heavy rain causing some flooding.”

Met Éireann’s statistics for last month show it was the wettest month of August at Shannon since 2008, with more than twice as much rain as would ordinarily be expected.

Owen Ryan

About Owen Ryan

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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.