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Back to Cork's coldest winters




SES two years after Cork was hit by the Siberian cold spell, known as Beast from the East, gone but never forgotten.

The cork was under a white blanket and the pictures of empty bread aisles in stores and supermarkets went viral.

Towards the end of February 2018, Met Eireann predicted temperatures well below normal as the beast from the East encountered storm Emma.

On the night of Tuesday, February 27, the expected snow and ice arrived.

While the regions of County Cork, including Innishannon, Kinsale, Bandon and Clonakilty were the hardest hit initially, it didn't take long before all of Cork was hit and businesses and schools were hit. forced to stop.

On Thursday March 1, temperatures dropped further and a reading of -7 degrees was taken at Cork Airport, the lowest recorded since 2010, according to Met ireanns annual weather trend report.

Although it was the coldest recorded in March since 1962, Cork has been no stranger to snowfall over the decades.

The winter of 1947 remains the harshest ever in Ireland when, from January 19 to March 15, an arctic cold spell caused five major blizzards and killed many.

As temperatures rarely rose above freezing, the snow that had fallen across the country in January remained until mid-March.

The winter of 1977/78 was also particularly dark, with heavy snowfall in the south and south-east of the country.

In February 1978, 26 cm of snow was recorded at Cork Airport, the greatest depth recorded at this station.

The 80s also heralded cold winters, particularly in 1987 when the Lough froze in February and brave residents of Cork took the opportunity to skate on popular amenities in the south.

While Cork largely escaped the snow in February 2020, the precipitation was well above average.

In Met Eireanns' monthly climate report, the national meteorologist suggested that it was "an unusually wet and windy month".

A series of Atlantic depressions, including three named storms, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge swept across Ireland and resulted in prolonged periods of heavy rain and stormy weather.

Interestingly, temperatures were relatively mild during the month of February, with almost all of the weather stations in Met ireann recording above their long-term averages.

The highest average monthly temperature was 8 degrees at Sherkin Island – 0.5 degrees above its long-term average.

With the onset of three storms in February, it is not surprising that last month was particularly windy.

Of the 23 stations that record the wind, 11 stations recorded their windiest February ever recorded.

Fortunately, winter is now behind us and with the arrival of spring, the people of Cork will cross their fingers for milder and drier weather in a few months.

We can certainly hope!

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