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Charley and the Forecast Factory
25 August 2016

Thirty years ago an Atlantic depression, that was traced back to hurricane Charley, deepened rapidly and brought heavy rain and high winds to Ireland on the 25th and 26th of August. This extreme weather event was documented at the time in a supplement to the August 1986 Weather Bulletin:

The heaviest rain fell in the South-East with accumulations of over 200 mm recorded over a 24-hour period. Forecast models available in 1986 predicted 24-hour rainfall accumulations of approximately 50 mm. 

Met Éireann researchers are currently undertaking a reanalysis of the Irish climate (1981-2015) using the HARMONIE forecast model. The reanalysis data has shown that if the HARMONIE model was used during August 1986 accumulations in excess of 160 mm would have been predicted. 

(left) Met Éireann observed  rainfall accumulation (09 UTC August 25th to 09 UTC August 26th), (centre) ECMWF's ERA Interim reanalysis 30 hour rainfall accumulation (00 UTC August 25th to 06 UTC August 26th, (right) similar to the centre image but shows the Met Éireann HARMONIE model reanalysis.


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