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Storm Agnes brings severe flooding and chaos to Ireland

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Explosive cyclogenesis amplifies the impact of first Major storm of the year.

Ireland is reeling from the havoc wrought by the arrival of Storm Agnes, which unleashed heavy rainfall and fierce gales in a country already grappling with a saturated landscape. As a result, cities like Cork and several others now face the looming threat of widespread flooding.

Storm Agnes, the first major storm of the year, arrived with a vengeance, delivering torrential rains and exceptionally strong gusts of wind that wreaked havoc in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

One of the defining characteristics of Agnes was its explosive cyclogenesis, a meteorological phenomenon in which there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure at the center of a low-pressure system. This phenomenon can lead to a significant increase in the wind field’s intensity. In the case of Storm Agnes, the atmospheric pressure plummeted from 996 hPa to 970 hPa within just twelve hours, marking an astonishing 26 hPa drop.

The morning hours witnessed the initial impact of Storm Agnes on Ireland. In the southern regions, numerous trees were uprooted, and several roads succumbed to flooding, causing transportation disruptions. Additionally, approximately 2,000 residents found themselves without power for several hours. The turbulent weather conditions also wreaked havoc on airports, with some flights having to divert or experiencing difficulties landing due to the strong winds. Wind gusts of up to 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph) were recorded, a fact well-documented by the WindRadar. In the town of Cork, the storm’s ferocity was on full display as a house lost its roof to the tempestuous winds.

As the cleanup and recovery efforts begin in the wake of Storm Agnes, authorities and communities will be on high alert for the looming threat of flooding, particularly in low-lying and vulnerable areas. The explosive cyclogenesis experienced by Agnes serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather systems and the importance of preparedness and resilience in the face of such extreme events.

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