NI farmers bearing brunt of unseasonably wet weather

A heavy rain shower in Belfast on Monday as Northern Ireland continues to endure an unseasonably wet June
A heavy rain shower in Belfast on Monday as Northern Ireland continues to endure an unseasonably wet June
Share this article

Although we are only halfway through June, Northern Ireland has already experienced more than its expected rainfall for the entire month.

It is an extremely wet start to the summer that is having an impact on everyone’s activities, particularly farmers, many of whom have been unable to complete their first cuts of silage for the season.

Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president David Brown said the wet weather is posing challenges on farms: “With the fields very wet, some farmers have had to house cattle to ensure their safety and to protect the ground from damage whilst others are struggling to complete first cuts of silage.”

He added: “It is far from an ideal situation for June.

“It adds additional cost to the business and could have a longer term impact on farm businesses during the winter months.

“For our arable farmers, the wet weather could potentially affect crops and growing conditions.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve had a wet June and it is unlikely to be the last. We continue to monitor the situation closely.”

The UFU said although the rain was hampering farmers the situation was “not at the point where farmers are needing assistance as far as we’re aware”.

As of June 16 Northern Ireland has had 88.8mm of rainfall, which is 116% of the typical rain for June here (76.3mm).

To put June’s rainfall in perspective with other months of the year in the Province, the average rainfall for January is 116.5mm, March is 95.1mm, August is 97.4mm and October is 119.7mm.

Looking at the individual counties, Armagh has experienced 100mm of rainfall, almost one and a half times its average amount for June.

The driest county has been Londonderry with 79.1mm of rainfall, a figure which still exceeds its average for the month.

The Met Office’s Bonnie Diamond said: “The week ahead is a mix of sunny spells and showers, some of them heavy.”

The Met Office forecaster said low pressure bringing unstable air, a higher dew point, and westerly winds was “the right recipe for heavy showers to develop with thunder and hail possible”.

She said: “If you’re unlucky enough to get caught under one of those heavy showers you could get 10 to 20 millimetres of rainfall falling within a couple of hours.”

The outlook for the next 15 to 30 days indicates more unsettled weather coming to the Province.

The wettest June on record for Northern Ireland was in 2012 when 179mm of rain fell in the month.

The wettest June day on record for the Province is June 22, 2004 when 102mm of rain was recorded at Ballykeel, Co Down.