Sherkin saw rainfall double in August as country lashed by storms and downpours

Sherkin saw rainfall double in August as country lashed by storms and downpours

Storm Ellen in full force in Garretstown, Co Cork Picture: Michael Prior

August will be remembered most for the rain that fell almost relentlessly during the month as well as Storm Ellen and Storm Francis that followed each other across the country.

Rainfall was above average nearly everywhere, according to Met Éireann, but Sherkin Island in West Cork stood out with its rainfall more than doubling.

The monthly rainfall total of 189.7mm at Sherkin Island was 215% above its long-term average  — its wettest August since 1986.

The wettest day was recorded at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry with 52mm recorded on Monday, August 24. It was also its wettest August day since 1986.

The number of wet days ranged from 13 days at Oak Park, Co Carlow, to 20 days at Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Along with Sherkin Island, Shannon Airport, Co Clare, also had rainfall above 200% of its August long-term average, with 174.8mm (213%). It was Shannon Airport’s wettest August since 2008.

Eight weather stations had rainfall above 150% of its long-term average.

Met Éireann describes August 2020 as warm, humid, and cloudy.

Over the first week, a mostly west or south-westerly airflow with high pressure to the south and low pressure to the north brought bands of rain or showers.

The second week saw a slack, mostly easterly airflow over the country, with high pressure to the northeast over Scandinavia. There were a few sunny days but as the week wore on, heavy thundery pulses of rain pushed up from the southeast to affect the southern half of the country.

Atlantic low-pressure systems dominated most of the remainder of the month with coastal, river and flash flooding causing disruption in some areas.

The latter part of the month was marked by Storm Ellen, a record-breaking deep Atlantic low-pressure system, containing the remnants of Tropical Storm Kyle. After a brief respite, Storm Francis hit before a cool North Atlantic high-pressure system settled it down for the month’s final few days.

A breezy and showery weather regime is expected over the weekend and into the early days of next week.

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