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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).
|Force||Short Description||Specifications for use on Land||Wind speed at 10m above ground level|
|0||Calm||Smoke rises vertically||< 1||< 0.3||< 1|
|1||Light air||Direction of wind shown by smoke but not by wind vanes||1 – 3||0.3 –1.5||1 – 5|
|2||Light breeze||Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, ordinary vanes moved by wind||4 – 6||1.6–3.3||6 – 11|
|3||Gentle breeze||Leaves and small twigs in constant motion, wind extends light flag||7–10||3.4–5.4||12 – 19|
|4||Moderate breeze||Raises dust and loose paper, small branches are moved||11–16||5.5–7.9||20 – 28|
|5||Fresh breeze||Small trees in leaf begin to sway, crested wavelets form on inland waters||17–21||8.0–10.7||29 – 38|
|6||Strong breeze||Large branches in motion, whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty||22 –27||10.8 –13.8||39 – 49|
|7||Near gale||Whole trees in motion,
inconvenience walking against the wind
|28 –33||13.9 – 17.1||50 – 61|
|8||Gale||Breaks off twigs, generally impedes progress||34 –40||17.2 – 20.7||62 – 74|
|9||Strong gale||Slight structural damage occurs (chimney pots and slates removed)||41 – 47||20.8 – 24.4||75 – 88|
|10||Storm||Seldom experienced inland, trees uprooted, considerable structural damage occurs||48 –55||24.5 – 28.4||89 –102|
|11||Violent storm||Very rarely experienced, accompanied by widespread damage||56 –63||28.5 – 32.6||103 – 117|
|12||Hurricane||–||64 >||32.7 >||117 >|
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.
A legal report for an insurance claim or similar needs to be specially prepared by one of the meteorologists in our Climate Enquiries office. You can see a sample report here and a list of our charges for this service is available here.
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