The summer downpours can’t be written off as a 2012 weather blip — severe rainfall is here to stay.
That is the view of two experts on climate from University College Cork, as the south of the country braces itself for further rain this afternoon.
Up to 35mms of rain fell in some parts of Cork yesterday while high winds led to debris on several roads.
In areas including Midleton, Douglas and Cobh, fallen trees had to be removed from roads.
This morning, Professor Robert Devoy from UCC said Ireland had experienced wet summers before over the past 30 years.
But he said: “This summer is significant because of the high figures of rainfall. One has to say that this summer is significantly what one would expect from climate change.”
He added: “We are now getting extremes which would be more common than they were before, because of climate change.”
Professor Devoy said local authorities must now be prudent in matters of water management and flood relief.
UCC’s Dr Paul Leahy said analysis of rainfall patterns from the past 60 years showed that rainfall had increased in occurrence in the past 30 years.
He added: “We have entered a shift in weather patterns.”
The swollen River Blackwater in Fermoy was to play host to swimmers taking part in the Blackwater Triathlon on Saturday.
However, one of the organisers, Niamh Fleming, said: “The event will definitely go ahead but we may just have a duathlon instead, with athletes not swimming.”
Up to 200 athletes are expected in Fermoy for the event.