NI’s Storm Ali was hurricane force at times: Met Office

The waves from Storm Ali batter Carrickfergus seafront
The waves from Storm Ali batter Carrickfergus seafront

The extraordinary outburst of windy weather which left two people on the island of Ireland dead saw winds of hurricane force buffet the Province at times, according to the Met Office.

The Met Office has told the News Letter a gust of wind between 9am and 10am at Killowen, south Co Down, registered 91mph – a new record for the Province for the month of September.

Tonight forecaster Mark Wilson said the previous highest September speed had been at Aldergrove in 1961, when a gust of 87mph was registered.

The all-time NI record was in January 1974, when Kilkeel saw a 124mph gust.

He said that whilst the storm itself does not qualify as a hurricane (because sea temperatures were not warm enough, it was not as sustained as a hurricane, plus other factors), winds of 75mph or above could be “considered hurricane force”.

He said that the next few days will likely be unsettled too, with blustery weather expected on Sunday.

A contractor in his 20s working for NI Water died in the south-east of the Province due to a falling tree.

In addition, in Co Galway a woman in her 50s died after a caravan she was in was blown some 15 feet down a rocky seaside incline.