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The North Antrim Flood of October 1990

Nicholas L. Betts


The frontal depression of the 27-28 October 1990 was responsible for remarkable rainfall intensities and record floods in northeast Ireland. The synoptic event is described, and the dynamic and orographic influences responsible for the highly localized nature of the mesoscale precipitation signatures outlined. Intense precipitation had its most dramatic impact in Ballycastle and Cushendall, where flooding was widespread. Extreme precipitation was the causal factor, but the event draws attention to perceived changes of flow regimes and landuse in the upper catchments of rivers in North Antrim. A need exists to closely monitor the hydrological characteristics of these catchments in order to calibrate more precisely the flood hazard in this part of northeast Ireland.

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