Weather News In Brief - Dec 28 2010

Low reservoir levels and burst water mains are continuing to cause severe disruption to public water supplies across Ireland. 

Water tankers and stand pipes have been dispatched in most counties as local authority crews work around the clock to repair infrastructure damaged by the recent severe cold spell and the subsequent thaw.  Some of the worst affected counties are Clare, Dublin, Kildare, Armagh, Limerick, Kerry, Antrim, Down, Laois and Cork. 
According to The Irish Times, Dublin City Council today said the water supply situation worsened last night due to the extreme change in temperature which had led to flooding and burst pipes. Temperatures have changed by almost 25 degrees over three days causing chaos across Ireland and leaving tens of thousands of householders with little or no water.

The Department of the Environment today asked property owners to check their premises for leaks.  The public are also asked to report evidence of leaks on public mains to local authorities.  Many local authorities have had to ask consumers to conserve water.  Night-time restrictions are in place in some areas.  There are problems with consumer service pipes that froze during the extremely cold spell.   Local authorities are providing water from standpipes and water tankers in areas where significant numbers of households are affected.  Information is available on local authority websites.

  • Transport: Road conditions are improved generally.  Drivers should continue to exercise caution.  Bus √Čireann is operating normal Tuesday services, with some changes (detailed at  Iarnrod Eireann:  Rail services have resumed today, and all services are operating on all routes EXCEPT between Dun Laoghaire and Bray, due to scheduled track works.  Dublin Bus: Normal weekday services will operate, with some exceptions (detailed at   Luas services are operating normally.
  • Conditions will be turning considerably milder over the coming days, although the cold air will return again by the weekend, according to High pressure is going to be the dominating factor in the west through the New Year period, probably being centred to the west of the country and bringing cool north to northwest winds. There will not be much rain or snowfall, any that does occur tending to be focused through northern and eastern Scotland and England.
  • This December will go down as the coldest month since modern temperature data was first collected in Ireland 130 years ago, reports the Irish Independent.  Provisional figures from Met Eireann also show that 2010 was the coldest year on record in Dublin, Mullingar and Knock.  And records were set elsewhere -- in Co Mayo, a temperature of -17.2C was recorded on December 20, the coldest ever experienced in Ireland during the month of December.
    • Ice sheets flowing down the River Barrow on St. Stephen's Day 2010. Pics by Enjoy in Ireland.

    • 'Icebergs' flowing down River Moy at Foxford, Mayo –

    • Home insurance premiums could rise again in 2011 following the adverse weather conditions experienced in the last 12 months, reports The Irish Examiner. The Irish Insurance Federation said premiums are driven by claims and any kind of movement in claims would affect premiums. 
    • The rapid rise in temperature which resulted in the dramatic thaw across Northern Ireland is not unprecedented, forecasters have said.  The Belfast Newsletter reports that over the space of 16 hours, Castlederg, which plunged to record lows during the big freeze, rose from the bone-chilling extreme of minus 14.5C to a more recognisable 2.9C – a rise of almost 17.5C.
    • One Satellite Photo of Ireland for every day of 2010. Video by Peter Lydon

    Water fountain in Carlow town during Christmas. Pic Niamh Ryan Kelly
    Dec 26th before the thaw, Killiney Bay. Pic John Whelan
    • Death Of An Irish Snowman (27 Dec 2010)

    USA: Severe cold weather conditions prevailed across much of the eastern coast of the United States, sending flight schedules as well as road and rail traffic into total disarray on Monday, reports RTT News. New York has been one of the worst hit areas, with the region receiving an average of up to 51 centimeters of snow. As a result, he state administration was forced to declare emergencies in Virginia, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Massachusetts and North Carolina.  Thousands of travelers have been stranded at various places with the snow storm forcing closure of airports. According to the US National Weather Service, the blizzard was the result of a depression that originated off North Carolina.
    BULGARIA: Winter is staging a comeback over Bulgaria after a spell of warm weather brought around one of the warmest Christmases on record, reports the Sofia Echo. Sofia, western and northwestern Bulgaria will see serious snowfall on December 27 2010, while in the south of the country, it will rain. Temperatures will be decreasing throughout however, and later in the day, rain in the south will also turn to snow.
    CANADA: While thousands of people were left without heat or light Monday after a storm pushed through parts of Canada, Calgarians were out enjoying the warm weather, according to CTV Calgary. Locals spent the day in the sunshine and temperatures above the freezing mark. The fine weather helped boost crowds at skating rinks and Canada Olympic Park. 
    AUSTRALIA: Eastern Australia has been hit with severe rain brought over by Cyclone Tasha over the weekend as Western Australia suffers from a heat wave reports the Epoch Times. “A lot of water but little damage,” the Herald Sun calls it. The cyclone passed over the northeastern state Queensland on Saturday. The heavy rains have put 18 rivers on flood watch and minor floods throughout the state put rescue workers to work. 
    • Blizzard Timelapse, New York, USA

    December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.