Parts of NI get half a month’s rain in a day, and more on way this week

The wet weather of recent days is expected to continue this week, despite the lifting of a ‘yellow warning’ for thunderstorms from the Met Office from today onwards.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 7:01 am
General view of the Belfast Docks area following heavy weekend downpours and flooding

This comes after several incidents of flooding in several areas across Northern Ireland over the weekend, with areas of Co Fermanagh amongst the worst hit.

Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell told the News Letter nearly half a month’s worth of rain fell in just 24 hours in Magilligan in Co Londonderry, while Northern Ireland as a whole has already had 70% of the average rainfall total for the month of August.

“Quite widely across the west of Northern Ireland we’ve had 20-30 milimetres of rain,” she explained. “The highest I can see was 45.2 milimetres in Magilligan on the north coast. That was over a 24-hour period from Saturday into Sunday — that’s quite a lot of rain to fall in quite a short period of time.

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“For some context, the monthly average for rainfall in Northern Ireland for August is 97.4 milimetres, so that figure of 45.2 represents about half a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours.

“In Belfast, there’s not been quite as much rain – our report is 12 milimetres so not a huge amount – but obviously it’s a city and dependent on infrastructure [to avoid flooding].”

Moving to the week ahead, she said: “Although we’ve not got a warning in place unfortunately it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a dry day across Northern Ireland. We’ve still got showers in the forecast but they won’t be quite so slow moving, and won’t bring such high rain to a single location. It’s likely to be a reasonably unsettled day on Monday into Tuesday.

Tuesday looks to have some sunshine, with temperatures at a high of 21 degrees — so quite a nice day. Wednesday will likely see an area of low pressure arrive so we’ve got a band of heavy rain, and then showers following so it’s not a particularly dry outlook for the week ahead.”

Asked about the potential for another heatwave later this month, she said: “It’s been quite widely reported but, actually, confidence in that is quite low. “