I had not realised that the times of the Met Éireann inland lakes weather forecasts, broadcast by the Coast Guard on VHF, had been changed. The times are now
MRCC Dublin, to whom I am grateful for confirming the new times, says
Standby on VHF Channel 16 for your local working channel.
In bygone days the Lough Derg and Lough Ree forecasts were five minutes apart, but now the initial call on Channel 16 is at the same time everywhere.
I found the new 10:15 broadcast to be particularly convenient.
However, one aspect in which I thought the Met Éireann forecasts (also available here) less useful than those from other sources (eg Windguru) is the absence of a forecast for wind gusts. On several occasions this year, the gusts were (a) almost continuous and (b) much stronger than the forecast wind speed. They thus had more influence on our trip planning than did the base wind speed. It would be nice if Met Éireann, and thus the Coast Guard, could include a forecast for gusts.
The hirers’ training materials I mentioned here give good advice about rough weather on lakes but, after seeing several hire boats cross Lough Ree in weather that kept us in harbour, I wondered whether the lakes forecasts are readily available to hirers. If they’re not, perhaps they could be transmitted daily by text message?
I should stress that I did not hear of any accidents caused by stress of weather, but some folk may have had uncomfortable trips.
Posted in Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Operations, Safety, Shannon, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged Coast Guard, forecast, inland lakes, Met Éireann, Shannon, VHF, weather, windguru
According to the Shannon Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study Technical Assessment: River Shannon Level Operation Review [PDF: Office of Public Works v2_0 July 2012]
ESB collects and maintains records of rainfall, river and lake levels and flow data. Even though ESB has no responsibility to supply flood warnings under their regulations, it issues twice weekly lake level forecasts to all the relevant stakeholders since 2010.
Those stakeholders include Waterways Ireland.
As the levels of the lakes are of great interest to boat-owners and others, it would be really nice if either the ESB or Waterways Ireland were to publish those forecasts. WI wouldn’t need any elaborate new system: they could send them around as marine notices, and the cost would be minimal.
But perhaps the forecasts are already published somewhere? If, Gentle Reader, you know where they are, do please leave a Comment [preferably with a link] below.
Posted in Drainage, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Irish waterways general, Modern matters, Operations, Safety, Scenery, Shannon, Sources, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways, Waterways management, Weather
Tagged boating, ESB, forecast, Ireland, lake, Shannon, water level, Waterways Ireland