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The latest Rainfall Radar showing live precipitation and the last 90 minutes’ precipitation over Ireland, updated every 5 minutes. Precipitation can be rain, hail or snow. Rainfall radar does not detect low lying precipitation, such as drizzle. Images are a combination of Met Éireann and Met Office radar in Dublin, Shannon, Belfast and Wales, when available. Lightning strikes, when they occur, are displayed as a cross. Initially they are red but change to orange and then yellow after a period, then disappear.
As mentioned above, the radar does not detect low lying precipitation such as drizzle, this is due to a number of reasons – primarily because radar antenna point upwards and may miss low level precipitation occurring under its detection area; also distance from the radar and topographical features can limit and hinder the precipitation it detects.
Rainfall radar systems are subject to frequent maintenance checks, individual units are powered off during these times, this will affect and reduce the radar images in that surrounding area. Maintenance notices are often posted on the Met Éireann Twitter page when we are informed.
Miscellaneous rainfall images may appear on the radar map from time to time, examples are below:
- ‘ground clutter’ may appear, this is often apparent around south Co. Dublin. It is a ‘term used for unwanted echoes in electronic systems, particularly in reference to radars. Such echoes are typically returned from ground, sea, rain, animals/insects, chaff and atmospheric turbulences..’ – Wikipedia . It is not real precipitation and should be ignored.
- Bright Bands may also occur as circles of precipitation around a radar, often in winter months due to reflectivity of wintry types of precipitation at higher levels in the atmosphere.
- Spokes can appear as long shadows of ‘rain’, this can happen when there is some interference to the radar signal. It is not real precipitation and should be ignored.
They are common artefacts or false echoes of rainfall radar systems and should be ignored if possible. They are present on our radar map do to our low level filtering which allows finer precipitation to appear on the radar image, which we feel is of utmost benefit to the public, despite the trade off by having the false echoes. There is no need to contact us regarding them.
Freedom of Information(FOI) request form is available here
Wind barbs are a convenient way to represent both wind direction and speed. Wind barbs have three parts: a dot, a staff and feathers or flags. The staff part of a wind barb shows wind direction. One long barb is used to indicate each 10 knots with the short barb representing 5 knots. At 50 knots, the barbs changes to a pennant. For wind speeds higher than 50 knots, long and short barbs are used again in combination with the pennant(s).
Anemometer: this instrument measures both the wind speed and direction.
Barometer: measures the atmospheric pressure.
Ceilometer: measures the base of the cloud height.
Hygrometer: measures the humidity of the air.
Rain-gauge: measures the amount of precipitation.
Sunshine recorder: measures the duration of sunshine.
Stevenson-screen: A type of wooden louvered rectangular box which houses maximum and minimum (centre) and wet and dry bulb thermometers.
- Anticyclone: Region of the atmosphere where the pressures are high relative to those in the surrounding region at the same level.
- Depression: Region of the atmosphere in which the pressures are lower than those of the surrounding region at the same level. This is the opposite of an Anticyclone.
- Cyclone:A severe type of tropical storm with very low atmospheric pressure at the centre and strong winds blowing around it.
- Gulf Stream: A current of warm surface ocean water in the North Atlantic flowing from the Gulf of Mexico towards northwest Europe. It has an important influence in maintaining relatively mild winters in Ireland.
- hectoPascal: Unit of pressure, equivalent to a Millibar.
- Isobar: Line joining points of equal pressure
- Isohyet: Line joining points of equal precipitation amount recorded during a specific period.
- Isotach: Line joining points of equal wind speed
- Isotherm: Line joining points of equal air temperature.
Check the Climate section (30 year averages) for:
- Monthly mean Air Temperatures
- Mean Maximum and Minimum Air Temperatures
- Wind speeds
- Rainfall, Sunshine, Humidity and other climatological means and extremes
If you require more detailed information such as weather reports, expert opinion or detailed analyses, please contact our Climate and Observations Division.
A fee may apply for the provision of the above.
Climate refers to long-term records, trends and averages; what one would expect the weather to be like. This is usually determined by examining weather conditions over a long period of time. Weather is the day to day experience of what is actually happening at a particular time.
The Beaufort Scale was devised by Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort in 1805/06. It is a way of estimating the wind strength according to the appearance of the sea (or on land, largely by the response of trees).
The direction of the wind is referred to by the points of the compass, from which the wind blows, for instance, northerly, south-easterly, westerly. An easterly wind is one that comes from the east. Winds are often described in terms of a change in direction. A northerly wind may be said to be veering east, or backing west. A backing wind is one that will move its direction back around the compass (anticlockwise). A wind that veers changes its direction clockwise around the compass points.
The wind’s direction is measured using a wind vane and can be recorded on a wind rose by shading a square, corresponding to the direction from which it blows.
An anemometer or ventimeter is used for measuring speed in kilometres or miles per hour. The faster the wind blows, the faster the cups on an anemometer spin, or the higher the disc rises inside a ventimeter. The Beaufort Scale is useful to indicate the strength of the wind. Wind instruments should be kept clear from walls, fences and houses, as these will interfere with the speed reading and the wind’s direction becomes difficult to ascertain.
Readings are taken hourly at all our weather stations. Wind direction and speed, dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures from which humidity is calculated, atmospheric pressure and tendency, cloud amounts and types and heights, visibility, the current or present weather during the hour and also weather that has occurred over the previous three hours, known as the past weather. The readings are coded and entered into a PC where they are quality controlled before being transmitted via modem to Glasnevin in Dublin.
Met Éireann has two entry grades:
- Meteorological Officer
What kind of work does a Meteorologist do?
A Meteorologist is concerned with the assessment and analysis of weather information. Duties include investigation and research into the physical nature of the laws governing air movement, pressure, and temperature changes to determine the causes which bring about the various atmospheric conditions. Analysing and summarising weather data for the purpose of preparing weather maps and forecasting weather changes are also part of a Meteorologist duty.
What kind of work does a Meteorological Officer do?
A Meteorological Officer performs the basic technical duties in the Meteorological Service. These duties include the performance of weather observations, the care and maintenance of meteorological instrumentation and communications facilities, computer operations and computer programming.
Unfortunately we are not in a position at present to accept any students on work placement.
Here is a list of the weather symbols used by Met Éireann and their description
|Light rain showers|
|Heavy rain showers|
|Rain showers and thunder|
|Heavy rain and thunder|
|Snow and thunder|
|Sleet showers and thunder|
|Snow showers and thunder|
|Rain and thunder|
|Sleet and thunder|
|Light rain showers and thunder|
|Heavy rain showers and thunder|
|Light sleet showers and thunder|
|Heavy sleet showers and thunder|
|Light snow showers and thunder|
|Heavy snow showers and thunder|
|Light rain and thunder and/or lightning|
|Light sleet and thunder|
|Heavy sleet and thunder|
|Light snow and thunder|
|Heavy snow and thunder|
|Light rain showers|
|Light sleet showers|
|Heavy sleet showers/Freezing rain|
|Light snow showers|
|Heavy snow showers|
|Light Hail Shower|
|Heavy Hail Shower|
Note: Some symbols are replicated for similar weather events