Storm Ellen Brings Unseasonably Wet And Stormy August Weather

Wednesday night 19th and Thursday 20th August 2020

Storm Ellen was the eight named storm of the 2019-20 season (the fifth on the official list of storm names by Met Éireann, the UK Met Office or KNMI). The first named Storm of the season, Lorenzo was an ex tropical system named by The National Hurricane Centre in the US and affected Ireland on the 3rd and 4th October 2019. Storm Atiyah, named by Met Eireann affected Ireland on the 8th and 9th of December 2019. A low-pressure system associated with Storm Elsa, named by the Portuguese weather service, affected Ireland on the 18th December 2019. Storm Brendan, also named by Met Eireann affected Ireland on the 13th January 2020. Storm Ciara, affected Ireland on the 9th and 10th of February 2020 and was named by the UK Met Office. Storm Dennis, also named by The UK Met Office affected Ireland on the 15th and 16th of February 2020. Storm Jorge, named by AEMET, the Spanish national meteorological service, was the 7th named storm of the season and affected Ireland on the 29th February 2020.

Met Éireann named Storm Ellen on the evening of Tuesday the 18th August 2020. A rapidly deepening and unseasonal Atlantic low-pressure system was forecast to cross the country on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Status Red/Orange/Yellow wind warnings were issued for the Island of Ireland.
A complex area of low pressure associated with a deep trough in the Atlantic was approaching Ireland on the 18th and merged with the remnants of tropical storm Kyle as it moved northwest across the Atlantic. This interaction spawned a new compact Low centre, named Storm Ellen, south of the main parent low pressure system. Storm Ellen deepened rapidly as it approached Ireland from the south-southwest, moving cyclonically around the parent low, while interacting with the left exit of the Jetstream associated with the trough in the Atlantic.

Storm Ellen, with a rapidly deepening low centre of 972 hPa, approached the Cork coast at approximately 9pm, and tracked northwards over the country during the night, followed by a very strong south-westerly airflow, backing south-west to south. Associated fronts moved north-eastwards across the country overnight bringing some localised heavy thundery downpours in places. A combination of storm surge, spring tides and onshore winds caused some coastal flooding particularly along the South coast.

Southeasterly strong gale force 9 to storm force 10, veered south to southwest and occasionally reached violent storm force 11 as the storm centre approached the South Coast.The combination of unseasonal heavy rainfall and strong winds coinciding with trees in full leaf and the peak holiday season resulted in impacts more associated with late autumn or winter, particularly across Southern coastal areas where winds were strongest.


Weather Extremes:

Highest 10-minute mean wind speed recorded for Storm Ellen – New August record for Ireland
Roches Point (Cork) – 60 knots (111km/h) at 2200utc on 19th August 2020 (the highest on record for August. Wind records date back to 1942).
Highest gust recorded for Storm Ellen
Roches Point (Cork) – 77 knots (143km/h) 2200utc on 19th August 2020 (the highest on record for August. Wind
records date back to 1942).

Full report <<here>>