Climate Statement for February and Winter 2020

February 2020: Very wet and windy.

February 2020 was an exceptionally wet and windy month. A very strong Polar Jetstream, further south than normal, made conditions very conducive for cyclogenesis and brought a series of vigorous Atlantic depressions, towards the northwest of Ireland. These depressions, including three named storms, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, brought prolonged periods of heavy rainfall and stormy weather leading to extensive flooding in places, especially along the Shannon catchment. The first week of February started changeable with a transient area of high pressure giving a few dry days on the 5th and 6th. Storm Ciara affected Ireland on the 9th and 10th, followed by several cold windy days, with wintery showers and lying snow in places, as a polar maritime air mass moved in over the country. This pattern repeated the following weekend, as Storm Dennis, one of the deepest mid latitude cyclones ever observed in the North Atlantic, affected Ireland on the 15th and 16th and again, was followed by a cold polar maritime air mass with several days of wintery showers. This seesaw pattern, with vigorous depressions in the North Atlantic sending active weather fronts across Ireland, followed by cold showery conditions continued up to the end of the month when Storm Jorge brought more heavy rain, with snow in places and the strongest winds of the month on the 29th.

The full report is available here

                                                                     Winter 2019/20:  Mild overall, very wet and windy finish.

Meteorological Winter 2019/2020 was dominated by a strongly positive North Atlantic Osculation phase, meaning both the Azores high and Icelandic Low were stronger than average, tightening the isobars in between and keeping the air flow mostly westerly off the Atlantic. This in turn helped to strengthen the Polar Jetstream, which fed in numerous low-pressure systems and associated fronts across Ireland and much of north-western Europe throughout the season. There were a few periods when the Polar Jetstream moved north allowing high pressure to develop over or close to Ireland, nota-bly at the end of December and beginning of January and also between the 18th and 25th of January, when near record high pressure was recorded over Ireland. It was mild overall but there were some colder periods as the air masses alternated between tropical maritime and polar maritime. Six named storms affected Ireland during the season including Storm Atiyah on the 8th and 9th December, Storm Elsa on the 18th December and Storm Brendan on the 13th January. February was a particularly wet and windy month, with three named storms and record rainfall at a number of our stations, leading to extensive flooding in places, especially along the Shannon catchment. Storm Ciara affected Ireland on the 9th and 10th, Storm Dennis on the 15th and 16th and Storm Jorge on the 29th.

Full report <<here>>