It's that time of year again with storms, typhoons and hurricanes hitting various parts of the world over the last few days. In the wake of Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and China and Hurricane Florence in the United States, thoughts now turn to if such weather events will impact on Ireland as Ophelia did last year. 

Professor John Sweeney from Maynooth University joined Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Six One News to discuss these extreme weather events. 

"There's a tendency for big storms to grow quicker, to be more extreme in terms of their intensity and to cause more damage", explains Professor Sweeney.

When it comes to climate change, Professor Sweeney said "the trend of warming has not deviated for the past 30 years or so. With Hurricane Harvey, the amount of rain was probably four times more probable as a result of human impact. For our own heatwave here in Ireland, it was twice as likely as a result of human impact."

What about the latest storm? Is there a chance that Helene may be as big a deal as Ophelia last year? 

"Looking at how Helene has evolved over the past week or so, it has become an extra-tropical storm, more or less a normal storm, a conventional early winter storm", says Professor Sweeney. "People will notice how balmy it was, how it was humid and very warm which means that tropical air is reaching us. But it doesn't look like it’s going to be another Ophelia at this stage."


The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ