Snow storm breaks all records in Rebel county

Snow storm breaks all records in Rebel county

Michael and Gill O’Shea, Douglas, stroll on Patrick Street, passing a snow covered Fr Mathew Statue. Picture Larry Cummins

THE Beast from the East snow storm tore up the historical record books, with up to 25 centimetres of snow in the county, Met Eireann has revealed.

The weather forecaster has shared official snow depth readings, taken at multiple locations around Cork between Wednesday and Saturday of last week.

The readings supported the observations of people around the city and county over the past week, that the snowfall was an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation event.

Unusual peaks were seen at Roches Point as early as last Wednesday morning, while the highest reading in the county was reported in north Cork on Saturday, March 3.

An aerial view of Baltimore Village in west Cork after last weekend’s snowfall. 	Picture: Youen Jacob/Provision
An aerial view of Baltimore Village in west Cork after last weekend’s snowfall. Picture: Youen Jacob/Provision

A Met Éireann spokesperson explained that the snow readings were made by human observation, unlike other data they gather for rainfall and temperatures, which are calculated with sophisticated measuring guages.

“These readings were taken by voluntary observers from around the country,” he said. 

“They would be very reliable observers and would have done their best to follow the guidelines (measuring at 9am in an open area).

“Due to conditions and snow drifts, this wasn’t always possible to adhere to.” 

Ten centimetres of snow was reported at Roches Point on Wednesday, with 7cm at Peafield, Ballincurrig near Midleton. 

By Thursday the snow at Roches Point had increased to 15cm and snow was also starting to settle in the city, with 3cm reported on the ground at 9am in Montenotte.

There was no snow at Freemount on Thursday morning but that had all changed by Friday, when the small north Cork village, which is 192 metres above sea level, reported a staggering 25cm snow depth at 9am.

The reported snow depths from a number of other locations were also highest on Friday, including 17cm at Peafield, 9cm at both Montenotte and Millstreet and 7.5cm on Sherkin Island.

By Saturday, the numbers had started to drop but there was still 13cm reported at Kilnamartyra near Macroom, 12cm in Ballyhooly and 10cm at Gernapeka.

By contrast, according to Met Éireann’s 30-year averages, Cork can normally expect to see snow settle on the ground in March for a fraction of a day, if at all.

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