Ben Lowry: Northern Ireland again escapes extreme weather as Storm Eunice passes

Storm Eunice barely touched Northern Ireland – or so it seemed as of last night in greater Belfast.

By Ben Lowry
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 1:59 am
Updated Saturday, 19th February 2022, 11:51 am
Waves crash against the coast in Whitehead yesterday in Co Antrim, but Northern Ireland again missed the worst of a storm. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press
Waves crash against the coast in Whitehead yesterday in Co Antrim, but Northern Ireland again missed the worst of a storm. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

This is no surprise because the Province usually escapes extreme weather.

In most respects this is good, as the tragic death of a man in Wexford, killed by a falling tree yesterday, shows. Much of the world has to endure dangerous weather, from forest fires in the US (the worst of which in California in 2018 killed almost 100 people in a town) to cyclones in Asia which wreak havoc.

We are fortunate not to have to worry about climate extremes or natural disasters such as earthquakes. Nor do we have to fear dangerous animals such as crocodiles.

Yet it would be nice if we had the odd non dangerous extreme. The odd very hot day, very heavy snowfall, or atmospheric storm.

I keep an eye on weather statistics and noticed long ago that Northern Ireland was the only part of the British Isles (to use a geographic term that has been in use for centuries but which riled a letter writer when I used it recently) that had neither been above 90 or below zero in the Fahrenheit scale (I am of the last generations that still thinks F as well as Celsius).

England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic had all been both above 90F (32.2C) and below zero F (-17.8C). We have a less extreme temperature range, apparently for reasons including the Gulf Stream.

In 2010 we finally went below zero F when we hit minus 2 F (-18.7C) in Castlederg, and last year we almost hit 90F, but not quite, when it was Castlederg (again) that made a record, touching 88F (31.3C).

Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter editor

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