A three-century storm climatology for Dublin 1715–2000


  • John Sweeney National University of Ireland, Maynooth




A need to quantify belter the hazard posed by storms in Ireland exists, particularly during a lime of imminent climate change. To assist this, a rudimentary storm chronology lor the Dublin region was constructed for the period 1715- 2000 using documentary and instrumental records. The former, using early newspapers and other weather catalogues, indicates a period of marked storm activity in the early eighteenth century which corresponds to the later stages of the Little Ice Age in Ireland. Instrumental records, though also imperfect, suggest that the twentieth century had a number of stormy intervals, particularly in the 1920s, 1960s and early 1990s. These were probably comparable to the early eighteenth century in storm frequency and severity. A clear link between storm frequency and cyclonic synoptic circulation types was established, with stormy decades evident at times of high frequencies of Jenkinson-Lamb cyclonic types. Preliminary analysis of some of the most severe storms indicated that rapid deepening of sometimes quite small wave depressions close to Ireland are the most common occurrence, though this may not have been so in the past. An expectation of increases in storm activity in the vicinity of Ireland exists for the medium term as global warming proceeds, though in the longer term a decline in vigour of the westerly circulation can be anticipated.

Author Biography

John Sweeney, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Department of Geography



How to Cite

Sweeney, J. (2014). A three-century storm climatology for Dublin 1715–2000. Irish Geography, 33(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.55650/igj.2000.300



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