The World Meteorological Organization has noted five extreme weather events in Ireland last year that were reported by Met Éireann.

Extreme weather is the day-to-day face of climate change according to the WMO and there was no let up on that front in 2021.

Unusual drought/dry spell from 29 May lasting up to 30 days

A climatological absolute drought is a period of 15 or more consecutive days to none of which is credited 0.2 mm or more of precipitation.

A climatological partial drought is a period of at least 29 consecutive days, the mean daily rainfall of which does not exceed 0.2 mm.

Nine weather stations in seven different counties had one or two absolute droughts during this period while one station had a partial drought during this period.

Unusual heat wave from 16 July lasting up to ten days

Out of 25 synoptic weather stations countrywide 14 stations recorded heat-waves, with six stations having heat-waves lasting for ten days.


Two tropical nights were reported - a rare event for Ireland.

Unusual Heat Wave from 1 September into the following three months

This was provisionally the warmest September and Meteorological Autumn on record for Ireland.

Unusual extra-tropical cyclone from 26 November lasting two days

Storm Arwen brought northerly gales and up to storm force 10 winds.

One county reached a red sustained wind warning level (more than 80km/h) and one other county reached orange sustained wind warning level (between 65-80km/h).

One person died and 4,000 customers were without power.

Travel disturbance was confined to coastal roads due to large waves and beach material being thrown by strong gusts of wind.

Ferry sailings from Belfast and Larne ports and Ballycastle to Rathlin Island were cancelled.

Unusual extra-tropical cyclone from 7 December for two days

Storm Barra was a long-lasting wind and rain storm with minimum central pressure of 957.2 hPa.

Violent storm force 11 winds were reported and five counties reached a red sustained wind warning level (more than 80km/h).

A further two counties reached orange level (65-80km/h), and a further six counties reached yellow level (50-65km/h).

Roads were blocked due to debris

With most schools and transport infrastructure shut down in the red and orange warning areas, economic losses would be significant but the amount is unknown at this point.

Approximately 59,000 electricity customers were without power.

There was some flooding in Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Dublin.

Some air travel flights cancelled and delays were experienced and ferry cancellations reported.

Bus and rail services were impacted while the HSE closed appointments and services on 7 December.

Covid-19 vaccination centres closed in status red and orange counties while ambulance services restricted due to debris on the roads.

On 7 December, most schools and colleges shut in status red and orange counties while creches shut countrywide.

Schools remained closed in 12 counties on 8 December.