Climate change: Northern Ireland weather Wettest July on record
Met Office data indicate that July in Northern Ireland was the wettest on record going back to 1836.
There was 185.4mm of rain recorded during the month, more than double the usual amount.
Previously, the record was 185.2mm, set in July 1936.
Northern Ireland experienced an exceptionally wet July 2023, which should come as no great surprise.
The amount of rainfall at Castlederg, in County Tyrone, was about two and a half times its normal amount.
On 23 July, heavy and persistent rains caused flooding in the County Tyrone town as well as in parts of County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland.
All six counties also recorded their wettest July on record at seven other stations.
As a result, Met Éireann predicts the wettest July on record in the Republic of Ireland, dating back to 1940.
In July 2021, the country recorded four times as much rain as it did in July 2022.
The past 12 months have seen Ireland’s wettest Octobers, Marchs, and now Julys in history.
We keep hearing about climate change and record-breaking temperatures elsewhere in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia, but why have we had such a poor July?
Climate change is a global phenomenon and not just one month in one year in one part of the world.
This fast-moving current of air, about six miles above the earth, drives low pressure systems from west to east across the Atlantic, causing unsettled weather.
There can be peaks and troughs in the jet stream when it gets kinked, like an Oxbow Lake – think Eastenders and the Thames river in London.
The UK and Ireland have been trapped in a trough with the jet stream sticking south of us for most of this month.
Summer weather is typically warmer and more settled in the north, so that prevented it from moving north.
We have instead been receiving cooler and more unsettled weather from the north Atlantic.
It was also a very dull July, with only 70% of the normal amount of sunshine.
A particularly bad season was also experienced by Tanya Gillen, who owns a café in the seaside hotspot.
“If the weather isn’t good, people won’t come off the main drag to the Arcadia,” she said.
“Maybe it’s the combination of the weather and the cost-of-living crisis everyone is talking about.”
Seasonable businesses on the north coast usually rely on a busy July, but this year has been different.