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The rapid increase in temperature, up to 20C (68F) in some places, has caused water pipes to burst leaving thousands of homes across the country without water or with restricted flow.
Met Eireann, Ireland’s meteorological services, said that the increase in temperature between Christmas Day and the 27th was “exceptional”. Many locations around Ireland experienced record low temperature on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day.
The Casement Aerodrome weather station in west Dublin recorded a low of -15C (5F) on Christmas Day while Shannon recorded -11.2C (12F). Again on St Stephen’s Day Dublin experiences a low of -12.2C (10F). In Claremorris, County Mayo, Christmas Day was the coldest since 1969 reaching -15C (5F).
Eoin Sherlock, a forecaster from Met Eireann said that the overnight change in temperatures, rising by 20C (68F) in some places, was a rare event. Speaking to the Irish Times he said “We have had exceptional weather, but once the cause of the extremely cold weather disappears – the arctic flow we had – the weather reverted to normal.”
He said that such strange events do occur in summer. “It’s like the opposite of a heatwave, where temperatures can one day be around the 17-18 degree mark and then quickly rise to 27-28 degrees.”
Unfortunately Ireland’s new milder and more seasonal weather is causing water mains to crack. In Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow water supplies are being restricted between 6pm and 9am. Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Kilkenny, Laois, Kerry and Westmeath have also been affected.