A HARD RAIN'S GONNA FALL
Climate – or Not the Weather Outside – is inevitably going to be bleak, because recent shifts in long-term weather patterns might be hitting home closer than you think. For those swept up in the recent doughnut fad, they may notice a decline in quality, owing to margarine being used as a substitute to wholesome butter; the greasy block of dairy is struggling with diminishing supplies against an increased demand. Poor weather in France and its summer heatwave have caused a shortage in feed to keep the cows happy, leading to an increase in butter prices by €2,000 per tonne since the beginning of the year.
And as if the deterioration of the doughnut was not close enough to home, the noticeably extreme shift in Ireland’s weather patterns certainly is. First, in June, Phoenix Park experienced its hottest day in 56 years, when it hit a peak of 28.6 degrees Celsius. Tom Murphy, Met Eireann’s meteorological officer noted the previous record was “28.7 degrees and that happened in 1950. Our records only go back to 1961 electronically, so we could only go back 56 years. It’s actually just .1 of a degree off the all-time record.”
Later, in August, heavy rainfall caused serious flooding in Donegal, with the wettest day in over 60 years being recorded at Malin Head on August 22. Clocking in at a startling 63mm of rainfall within a six-hour period, this made up one-third of the monthly total.
However, the real coup de grace came in October, as the largest ever wave was recorded off the coast in Waterfod on October 19, during Hurricane Ophelia. It was confirmed as 17.81m by the Irish Weather Buoy Network – to frame that in another context, imagine 10.7 Thom Yorkes standing on top of each other in order to rip a buoy from its mooring.