‘Crikey!’ Forecaster reveals extent of NI downpour – with more on way

Flooding on the Hillhall Road near Lisburn on Wednesday after Northern Ireland seen heavy rain overnight. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Flooding on the Hillhall Road near Lisburn on Wednesday after Northern Ireland seen heavy rain overnight. ''Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

About one-third of all the rain which usually falls in November hit parts of Northern Ireland within a 24 hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday night.

That is the picture which emerges from Met Office between 8pm on Tuesday to 8pm on Wednesday, with the east of the Province especially hard hit.

Flooding on the Ballyskeagh Road near Lisburn on Wednesday

Flooding on the Ballyskeagh Road near Lisburn on Wednesday

Simon Partridge, Met Office forecaster said that the wettest place of all in NI during that period was Ballypatrick Forest in the north-east of Antrim.

Looking through the figures, he said: “Oh, my God. That’s a high one.”

There, 41.4mm fell in that 24 hour period.

The runner up was nearby Giant’s Causeway, where 34.8mm fell.

To the south of that was Murlough Bay, where 32.2mm fell.

However, the west of the Province fared better.

There, for example, Thomastown near Lough Erne the figure was 7.6mm, and at Castlederg it was 11.4mm.

It seemed that the main period of rainfall was 3am to 9am.

The average rainfall in Northern Ireland for the whole month of November? 112.5mm.

“We had a third of a month’s rain in about a day, to put it in a bit of context like that,” said Mr Partridge. “Crickey.”

However, he said this is nowhere close to the record 24 hour period: October 31, 1968, when 159mm fell in Tollymore Forest.

He also stressed that such rainfall seen on Tuesday and Wednesday is not unheard of, although it does seem to becoming more frequent.

“Heavy downpours seems to be a little more frequent, with longer periods in between with less rain,” he said.

“It may be a sign of the way things are changing, but it’ll take a few more years to prove one way or another.”

As to what is to come, he said that Thursday appears to be “generally dry with sunnt spells – not too much to worry about”.

But on Friday, there could well be 50 to 60mph gusts, and heavy rain too, between 9am and 9pm.

“There’ll be a similar spell of rainfall to what we had, only this time it‘ll affect all of Northern Ireland, not just the east.”