Nature can remind us at times just how powerful it truly is and how it should never be underestimated. During some of the scariest Irish weather events of all time, the Irish people discovered this fact only too well.
If there is one thing that Irish people love to talk about, it’s the weather. It’s perhaps one of the most popular go-to topics of conversation when Irish people run into each other.
The Irish weather throughout the years has certainly been nothing if not unpredictable as we have seen the weather reach great extremes from heatwaves to snowstorms and everything in between.
A few weather events in particular seem to remain in the Irish psyche due to their scary and memorable nature.
This article will list what we believe to have been the top five scariest Irish weather events of all time.
5. The Beast from the East (2018) – covered Ireland in snow
The Beast from the East is the most recent weather event on our list as it occurred in 2018 from February 28th until March 3rd.
This weather event saw Ireland covered with snow. Some places experienced snowfall as deep as 26 cm!
Red alerts were issued to the people of Ireland, which advised them to stay indoors for their own safety. Snow had made roads un-drivable and hugely affected electricity supply throughout the country.
The Beast from the East is remembered for bringing the country to a complete standstill for four days. Schools and businesses were closed, as well as public transport and flights being completely cancelled.
4. The Big Snow (1947) – brought the country to a standstill
In 1947, Ireland experienced a huge amount of snowfall at the end of February. This effectively closed the country, as roads and railways were completely smothered by snow.
This weather event became known as the ‘Big Snow’ as the snowfall continued for a substantially long time as it lasted well into March.
The ‘Big Snow’ had a devastating impact on the country, especially rural Ireland. Many parts were completely isolated, and farmers suffered as they lost countless animals.
3. Hurricane Charley (1986) – a storm that broke rainfall records
Hurricane Charley, which occurred in 1986, was one of the craziest and most unpredictable storms to ever hit Ireland’s shores.
It broke records for the sheer amount of rain that fell. This caused widespread flooding and the destruction of trees and power lines that affected over 450 buildings.
The cost to repair things after the storm was a whopping €9,279,000. Besides rainfall records being broken, winds also reached 105 km per hour (65.2 mph).
Sadly, the greatest cost of all from Hurricane Charley was the loss 11 people’s lives.
2. Storm Ophelia (2017) – the worst storm to hit Ireland in 50 years
Storm Ophelia is an infamous weather event that has forever etched itself into the memory of all who experienced it. It is commonly regarded as being the worst storm to hit Ireland in over 50 years.
Storm Ophelia hit Ireland with fury in 2017 on the 16th of October. Met Eireann issued a Status Red warning as they predicted that the storm posed a real and credible ‘danger to life and property’.
They also warned the public to expect the weather to be ‘stormy with violent, damaging gusts of 120 to 150 kilometres per hour.’
These predictions certainly proved to be true, as there were gusts of up to 191 km per hour (120 mph) recorded at Fastnet Rock off the coast of County Cork. These are the highest wind speeds to ever be recorded in Ireland.
As well as that, an honourable mention goes to the ten-minute period where the wind sustained an incredible speed of 111 km per hour (70 mph) at Roches Point.
The storm had a devasting effect on the country, as 410,000 people were left without power. Unfortunately, some several casualties and individuals who lost their lives were the result of this relentless storm.
1. Night of the Big Wind (1839) – a terrifying hurricane that killed 300 people
Taking first place on our list of the top five scariest Irish weather events of all time is the ‘Night of the Big Wind’, which hit Ireland on January 6th, 1839.
It wreaked absolute havoc across the country, killing up to 300 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
The ‘Night of the Big Wind’ became known as one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit Ireland. To this day, it remains, in our opinion, the scariest Irish weather event in history.
That concludes our article on what we believe to have been the top five scariest Irish weather events of all time. How many of them do you remember?