OPHELIA: HISTORY OF HIGH WINDS

Highest winds ever recorded in Ireland came during Hurricane Debbie at Malin Head and Foynes

Michael Daly

Reporter:

Michael Daly

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michael.daly@donegaldemocrat.com

Highest winds ever recorded in Ireland came during Hurricane Debbie at Malin Head and Foynes

Hurricane Debbie: Damage in Eyre Square. Photo Connacht Tribune.

In September 1961 as hurricane Debbie hit Ireland, winds recorded that day were the highest measured either before or since.

According to Met Éireann's website, Ireland was hit by winds gusting over 110m.p.h. as the centre of the former hurricane Debbie passed close to the west coast during the morning of Saturday, September 16th 1961. 

At a number of stations the winds recorded that day were the highest measured either before or since, while the gust of 98
knots (113m.p.h.) at Malin Head is the joint highest gust ever recorded in Ireland -the same value was recorded at Foynes, Co. Limerick on January 18th 1945, before the instrument pen went off the chart.
While true hurricanes are technically not found at latitudes as high as Ireland, Debbie retained many hurricane characteristics when it arrived off the southwest coast.

Damage to property was extensive over the western half of the country and 11 deaths were attributed to the storm.