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Category: Asset 8News & Views

Weather doesn’t stop at the border

April 8, 2020

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Storm Ciara over Ireland back in February – all of it!

 

By Irish Echo Staff

 

Ireland is well known for its variable weather. That variability pays no heed to man-made lines on a map.

So with that in mind Met Éireann plans  to display Northern Ireland on its weather warning maps after two years of trying to incorporate the six counties.

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Met Éireann’s head of forecasting, Evelyn Cusack, told TheJournal.ie that since she took over her role in March 2018 she has been aiming to incorporate the North in Met Éireann’s weather warnings and that the final technical issues are currently being ironed out.

“We’re nearly there,” said Cusack, adding that information for Northern Ireland appearing on Met Éireann will be directly linked with the UK Met Office, which issues weather warnings for Northern Ireland and will continue to do so.

Currently, according to the journal report, when Met Éireann issues a weather warning – Status Yellow, Orange or Red – the affected counties in the Republic appear in that colour but Northern Ireland is left grey.

In February, a stormy month as it turned out, Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile said Met Éireann was ignoring the weather in Northern Ireland and accused the meteorological service of taking a partitionist approach.

He said at the time: “weather knows no borders; neither should strategies that are meant to be about communicating the very real dangers posed by emergency weather situations”.

Cusack first proposed displaying Northern Ireland weather warnings to the UK Met Office last September.

The primary reason Met Éireann proposes displaying weather warnings issued by the UK Met Office for Northern Ireland is to ensure the safety of citizens who travel across the border for work or other activities, Cusack said.

Since it was founded in 1937, the Irish Meteorological Service has provided weather forecasts for all of Ireland’s 32 counties. Weather forecasts for over 300 locations in Northern Ireland can be searched on met.ie.

But the warnings of severe weather were not being carried on a single all Ireland map.

In a proposal to the UK Met Office, Cusack said: “It would be very unusual if not unique for one National Meteorological Service to display the warnings issued by another NMS but Met Éireann is proposing this for citizen safety and societal wellbeing.”

Cusack said that she aims to have Northern Ireland warnings issued by the UK Met Office included on Met Éireann by this summer.

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