Rare nacrous clouds spotted over Foyle

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As Met Eireann declared January to be ‘wet and windy,’ the month of February arrived in Inishowen by bringing rare nacreous clouds in the skies over Lough Foyle.

The unusual rainbow-coloured clouds were spotted by Inishowen man Bren Whelan on Tuesday morning. Mr Whelan took photographs of the phenomenan and filmed some wonderful time-lapse footage.

Also known as Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs),nacreous clouds form in the lower stratosphere over polar regions when the sun is just below the horizon.

The clouds are illuminated from below and often glow in vivid colours and will often remain visible for a couple of hours after sunset and through the night as they are lit by moonlight.

Nacreous clouds form below -78 C temperatures and so are most likely to occur during the polar winter.

You can watch Bren’s timelapse footage of the clouds on www.derryjournal.com.

Meanwhile. Met Eireann’s weather report for the month of January confirmed that Malin Head recorded its warmest January temperature since 1960, with 14.5°C.

Storm Gertrude also brought the month’s highest 10-minute mean and highest gust reported at Malin Head on the 29th at with 53 knots (98 km/h) and 70 knots (130 km/h), respectively.

All stations across the country reported above their Long-Term Average (LTA) rainfall in January. The wettest days of the month were 1st, 5th, 9th and 26th with the most rainfall reported in 24-hours reported at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry on the 26th with 37.0 mm.

All mean temperatures for January were on or above their LTA and as well as Malin Head, around half of

stations scattered around the country reported their highest January temperatures in seven to 18 years. Monthly mean wind speeds ranged from 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) at Fermoy (Moore Park), Co Cork to 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h) at Malin Head.