Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-139
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-139

  01 Nov 2021

01 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Reassessing Ireland's Hottest Temperature Record

Katherine J. Dooley, Ciaran V. Kelly, Natascha Seifert, Therese A. Myslinski, Sophie C. O'Kelly, Rushna Siraj, Ciara A. Crosby, Jack Kevin Dunne, Kate A. McCauley, James O. Donoghue, Eoin D. Gaddren, Daniel P. Conway, Jordan W. Cooney, Niamh M. McCarthy, Eoin P. Cullen, Simon J. Noone, Conor Murphy, and Peter W. Thorne Katherine J. Dooley et al.
  • Irish Climate Analysis and Research UnitS (ICARUS), National University of Ireland Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Abstract. The highest currently recognised air temperature (33.3 °C) ever recorded in the Republic of Ireland was logged at Kilkenny Castle in 1887. The original observational record however no longer exists. Given that Ireland is now the only country in Europe to have a national heat record set in the 19th century, a reassessment of the verity of this record is both timely and valuable. The present analysis undertakes a fundamental reassessment of the plausibility of the 1887 temperature record using methods similar to those used to assess various weather extremes under WMO auspices over recent years. Specifically, we undertake an inter-station reassessment using sparse available records and make recourse to the new and improved 20CRv3 sparse-input reanalysis product. Neither surrounding available stations nor the reanalysis offer substantive support for the Kilkenny record of 33.3 °C being correct. Moreover, recent data rescue efforts have uncovered several earlier extreme values, one of which exceeds the Kilkenny value (33.5 °C on 16th July 1876 recorded at the Phoenix Park). However, the sparsity of early observational networks, a distinct lack of synoptic support from 20CRv3 for many of the extreme heat values, and the fact that these measurements were obtained using non-standard exposures leads us to conclude that there is grossly insufficient evidence to support any of these 19th Century extremes as robust national heat record candidates. Data from the early 20th Century onwards benefits from a denser network of stations undertaking measurements in a more standardised manner, many under the direct auspices of Met Éireann and its predecessors, adhering to WMO guidance and protocols. This enables more robust cross-checking of records. We argue that the Met Éireann recognised 20th Century heat record from Boora in 1976 verifies as the most plausible robust national temperature record based upon the synoptic situation and comparisons with nearby neighbouring stations. This measurement of 32.5 °C thus likely constitutes the highest reliably recorded temperature measurement in the Republic of Ireland. Ultimately, the formal decision on any reassessment and reassignment of the national record rests with the national meteorological service, Met Éireann.

Katherine J. Dooley et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2021-139', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Nov 2021 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on cp-2021-139', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Nov 2021 reply

Katherine J. Dooley et al.

Data sets

katherinedooley / Reassessing-Ireland-s-Hottest-Temperature-Record Met Éireann, Katherine Dooley, Ciaran Kelly, Natascha Seifert, Therese Myslinski, Sophie O’Kelly, Rushna Siraj, Ciara Crosby, Jack Kevin Dunne, Kate McCauley, James Donoghue, Eoin Gaddren, Daniel Conway, Jordan Cooney, Niamh McCarthy, Eoin Cullen, Simon Noone, Conor Murphy, Peter Thorne https://github.com/katherinedooley/Reassessing-Ireland-s-Hottest-Temperature-Record

Model code and software

katherinedooley / Reassessing-Ireland-s-Hottest-Temperature-Record Katherine Dooley, Ciaran Kelly, Natascha Seifert, Therese Myslinski, Sophie O’Kelly, Rushna Siraj, Ciara Crosby, Jack Kevin Dunne, Kate McCauley, James Donoghue, Eoin Gaddren, Daniel Conway, Jordan Cooney, Niamh McCarthy, Eoin Cullen, Simon Noone, Conor Murphy, Peter Thorne https://github.com/katherinedooley/Reassessing-Ireland-s-Hottest-Temperature-Record

Katherine J. Dooley et al.

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Short summary
The highest currently recognised air temperature (33.3 °C) ever recorded in the Republic of Ireland was logged at Kilkenny Castle in 1887. This paper reassess the plausibility of the record using various methods such as inter station reassessment and 20CRv3 reanalysis’. As a result, Boora 1976 at 32.5 °C is presented as a more reliable high temperature record for the Republic of Ireland. The final decision however rests with the national meteorological service, Met Éireann.