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Winter 2008 / 2009 , Stormy Weather

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Weather front approaching South Coast with Strong Winds , Noon 17 Jan 09.
ON 17-JAN-2009 for 13:00

ROCHES POINT (Automatic)

South 51 Knots / Gust 62 Knots

That's a Force 10

Glad I'm not doing any sailing this weekend !

Scrool down to see what that means in the Beaufort Wind Scale

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Weather Warning

Issued at 16 January 2009 - 10:22
Severe Weather Warning
Warning of severe weather event on Saturday.


Southerly winds, later veering west, will reach mean speeds of 35 to 45 knots (65 to 85 km/h) with gusts of 60 to 75 knots. (110 to 140 km/h).

The highest gusts will be along exposed coasts, and over high ground.


Rainfall totals of 20 mm to 30 mm are possible over much of Connacht, West Munster and West Ulster, with totals of 15 mm to 20 mm elsewhere.
Some flooding is likely.

High Seas:

Very high seas (8 to 10 metres over the open sea), may cause additional flooding in exposed coastal areas.

Warning valid 0900 to 2400 Saturday 17 / 1 / 2009.
Gale Warning:

Southwest to West Gales tonight on all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea. Winds increasing South, Strong Gale force 9 to Storm force 10 on Saturday morning.
Issued at 16:00 on 16-Jan-2009

Sea Area Forecast until 1800 Saturday 17 January 2009

Issued at 1700 Friday 16 January 2009

Gale warning: In operation.

Meteorological situation at 1500: A South to Southwest airflow over Ireland will freshen tonight, as a showery trough, approaching from the Atlantic crosses the country. Active rainbelts will follow on Saturday, with southerly winds increasing strong gale to storm force, as the associated storm depression passes close to the northwest coast.

Forecast for coasts from Fair Head to Howth Head to Carnsore Point and the Irish Sea:

Wind: South to Southwest, veering Southwest to West force 6 to Gale force 8. Backing South on Saturday and increasing Strong Gale force 9 to Storm force 10

Forecast for coasts from Carnsore Point to Slyne Head to Fair Head:
Southwest to West force 6 to Gale force 8. Increasing South Strong Gale force 9 to Storm force 10 early Saturday. Veering Southwest to West later and possibly reaching Violent Storm force 11 between Slyne Head and Fair Head.

Weather for all coasts of Ireland and the Irish Sea: Heavy squally showers overnight, with a risk of hail or thunder. Heavy rain spreading across the area from the Atlantic on Saturday, with showers following later.

Visibility for all coasts of Ireland and the Irish Sea: Moderate to poor in heavy rain or showers.

Warning of heavy swell: on northern, western and southern coasts.

Outlook for a further 24 hours until 1800 Sunday 18 January 2009: Strong Gale to Storm force Southwest to West winds. Heavy, squally showers turning increasingly wintry, with scattered thunderstorms.

  • Sea Area Forecast

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    The Result:

    R.T.E News
    Saturday, 17 January 2009 18:29 :

    Motorists have been urged to drive with extreme caution as severe weather conditions have caused trees and power lines to come down in various parts of the country.

    Storm force winds and heavy rain are creating dangerous driving conditions and some 65,000 homes have been left without power.

    Wind speeds have reached up to 140kms an hour in many areas, causing trees and power supply poles to fall and block roads.

    AdvertisementThe ESB says its crews are working to restore power to homes across the country, particularly in the South West and the Mid-West regions.

    The company has asked people to stay away from fallen lines and report them to the emergency services or to the ESB itself.

    Many roads have been made impassable, with reports of fallen poles, lines and trees in counties Galway and Clare, Laois, Limerick, Kilkenny and Meath.

    In Kerry, an Antiguan-registered ship has lost engine power off the island of Inishvickillane.

    A rescue helicopter has gone to the scene and a nearby vessel is also trying to assist the crew of eight.

    In Galway, Gardaí say a number of minor roads are impassable and motorists are being warned to avoid journeys, unless absolutely necessary.

    A motorist in Dublin narrowly avoided serious injury when an overhead gantry collapsed on the Naas road outbound and there are long traffic delays.

    The road between Sutton Cross and Baldoyle Road is closed because of fallen cables.

    The storm coming in from the Atlantic is expected to continue into the night before winds ease.

    Met Éireann says winds will be between storm force nine and violent storm force 11 this evening and tonight on all coasts.

    The weather station at Belmullet, Co Mayo recorded record wind speeds of 174km per hour ( 94 Knots , ooh shit ) today.

    Buoy M3 , SW of Mizen Head on the SW Coast recorded at wave of 36 ft , thats over 11 meters.

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    Beaufort Wind Scale

    Appearance of Wind Effects
    on the Water & on Land

    Force 0
    Less than 1 Calm Sea surface smooth and mirror-like Calm, smoke rises vertically

    Force 1
    1-3 Knots
    Light Air Scaly ripples, no foam crests Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes

    Force 2
    4-6 Knots
    Light Breeze Small wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, vanes begin to move

    Force 3
    7-10 Knots
    Gentle Breeze Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended

    Force 4
    11-16 Knots
    Moderate Breeze Small waves 1-4 ft. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps Dust, leaves, and loose paper lifted, small tree branches move

    Force 5
    17-21 Knots
    Fresh Breeze Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray Small trees in leaf begin to sway

    Force 6
    22-27 Knots
    Strong Breeze Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray Larger tree branches moving, whistling in wires

    Force 7
    28-33 Knots
    Near Gale Sea heaps up, waves 13-20 ft, white foam streaks off breakers Whole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind

    Force 8
    34-40 Knots
    Gale Moderately high (13-20 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks Whole trees in motion, resistance felt walking against wind

    Force 9
    41-47 Knots
    Strong Gale High waves (20 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility Slight structural damage occurs, slate blows off roofs

    Force 10
    48-55 Knots
    Storm Very high waves (20-30 ft) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility Seldom experienced on land, trees broken or uprooted, "considerable structural damage"

    Force 11
    56-63 Knots
    Violent Storm Exceptionally high (30-45 ft) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced

    64+ Knots
    Hurricane Air filled with foam, waves over 45 ft, sea completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reduced

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    Ireland's Weather

    The prevailing winds are from the southwest - the direction of the Gulf Stream which brings temperate conditions, in the form of Low-pressure Depressions, to what would otherwise be a much colder latitude - 20º colder, in fact.
    Occasionally there is a "blast from the north", bringing very cold weather from the Arctic, characterised by icy winds, snow and frost. When Ireland receives wind from the east - not particularly common - there is hot, dry weather (summer) or cold, dry weather (winter). This east wind has its origins over central Russia where there is little moisture.

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    Notable Storms

    "The night of the Big Wind" on the 6th-7th January 1839 probably caused more widespread damage in Ireland than any storm in recent centuries. Winds reached hurricane force and between a fifth and a quarter of all houses in Dublin experiened some damage, ranging from broken windows to complete destruction. In more recent times, the year 1974 began with a very stormy period, with record speeds occurring at a number of locations on the night of the 11th-12th of January. Trees were blown down, many buildings were damaged and electricity supply to 150,000 homes was interrupted. It was during this storm that a gust of 124 m.p.h. was recorded at Kilkeel in County Down, making it the highest sea-level wind speed recorded in Ireland.