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Heavy Rainfall of 24th October 2011 in the greater Dublin Area
25 October 2011
Ireland was at the centre of a slow-moving frontal depression which stretched from western France to south of Iceland. The Wicklow Mountains caused a process called orographic uplift when moist air is forced to rise by a mountain barrier, condenses and then falls as rain. In addition there was coastal convergence, the convergence of isobars off the east coast also caused moist air to rise and fall as rain. This conspired to produce excessive rainfall in the Dublin area.
A spell of very heavy rainfall affected mainly Eastern and Northern parts of Ireland. Initial analysis of the available measurements results in the following comments. Although significant amounts affected many areas, the greater Dublin Area received by far the most rainfall. Our station at Casement Aerodrome set a new record of 82.2mm for the greatest daily total for the month of October, since rainfall records began there in 1954. The greatest daily total for any month of the year was 108.6mm which fell on 11th June 1993.
The majority of the rainfall occurred during the period from 2 pm to 8 pm with approximately 60 mm falling in 4 hours at Casement Aerodrome. This 4-hour fall is approximately a 1 in 60 year event.
The global temperature maps published by Nasa present a striking picture. Last month's shows a deep blue splodge over Iceland, Spitsbergen, Scandanavia and the UK, and another over the western US and eastern Pacific. Temperatures in these regions were between 0.5C and 4C colder than the November average from 1951 and 1980. But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual. Nasa's Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9. There was a similar pattern last winter. These anomalies appear to be connected.
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