Winter 2013/14 was a record breaker

Winter 2013/14 was a record breaker

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Damage to the promenade in Lahinch, Co. Clare. By Pat Flynn.
Damage to the promenade in Lahinch, Co. Clare. By Pat Flynn.

Winter 2013/14 was officially the stormiest on record in Ireland, according to NUI Maynooth researchers.

While met agencies in the UK and Ireland have acknowledged winter 2013/14 was exceptional in terms of precipitation totals and extreme wind speeds, less clear was the extent to which the frequency and intensity of cyclones experienced during the period December 2013 – February 2014 were atypical.

Working in partnership with Professor Robert L. Wilby of Loughborough University, Maynooth researchers Tom Mathews, Conor Murphy and Shaun Harrigan claim their published findings indicate that the period considered experienced the most severe storminess for at least 143 years (when records began) when taking into account both cyclone frequency and intensity.

The research teams concludes that further research into the key processes driving extreme storminess is required.

Shannon Airport registered one of the highest inland wind speeds ever recorded in Ireland on February 12th when the local Meteorological station clocked a 158 km/h gust. The storm, as seen from space in the below photograph, led to days of power outages across Clare and resulted in thousnads of trees being felled throughout the County.

It was the final storm of a winter that saw more than six separate storm systems batter the coastline from late December through early February. Clare County Council estimates that damage to public infrastructure along the coast during the period amounted to 37 million euro.

Storm system on February 12th
Storm system on February 12th
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