2. Climate Change in Cork

Closed30 Jul, 2019, 5:00pm - 13 Sep, 2019, 5:00pm


Climate Change in Cork


A review of extreme weather events in the strategy area over the period 1987 to 2018 has been undertaken using published Met Éireann data and has been categorised under the following headings for the Cork in Table 2.1 and shown graphically in Figure 2.1.

Table 2.1.

Climate Change in Cork

Extreme Weather Events


Coastal flooding

  • February 2002: Cork city flooding

Coastal storms

  • January 1993: severe gusts and heavy rainfall
  • February 1990: severe gusts and heavy rainfall

Extreme heat and drought

  • Summer 2018: warmest weather since 2006
  • Summer 2006: warmest weather since 1995
  • Summer 1995: warmest weather since 1955

Extreme rainfall

  • June 2012: 58mm 1-day total recorded in Bandon
  • November 2009: 55mm 1-day total recorded in Ballyvourney

Fluvial flooding

  • December 2015: River Bandon
  • February 2014: River Lee
  • November 2009: River Lee; major flooding in Cork city
  • August 2008: River Blackwater
  • November 2000: River Lee

Freezing conditions

  • December 2010: Cork recorded -7.2 degrees

Groundwater flooding

  • January 2016: N25 flooded between Killeagh and Castlemartyr

Heavy snowfall

  • Feb/March 2018: Storm Emma
  • January 1987: 12cm of snow at Roche’s Point

Pluvial flooding

  • June 2012: Douglas
  • August 1997: Freemount

Storm force winds/ windstorms

  • October 2017: Hurricane Ophelia, with gusts up to 84 knots recorded at Roche’s point
  • January 1991: gusts in excess of 68 knots recorded at Roche’s point
  • February 1988: gusts in excess of 84 knots recorded at Cork airport


It is evident that the main category of extreme weather events reported has been flooding (coastal, fluvial and pluvial). This is followed by windstorms and coastal storms and there is a general similarity in the numbers of the remaining event types.  As illustrated in Figure 2.2. there is an acceleration of extreme weather events over recent years. 

Cork City Council has a comprehensive Major Emergency Plan in place to ensure that staff at all levels are aware of their responsibilities and that appropriate actions are initiated in a timely and effective manner to deal with major emergencies. The Major Emergency Plan, which describes actions required in the event of severe weather events, has come into operation on a number of occasions, with the most recent activations being Hurricane Ophelia in October 2017 and Storm Emma in February  / March 2018.