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Homogenisation and analysis of an expanded monthly rainfall network for the Island of Ireland (1850-2010)

journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-14, 14:39 authored by Simon Noone, Conor Murphy, J. Coll, Tom Matthews, Donal Mullan, Robert WilbyRobert Wilby, Seamus Walsh
Long-term precipitation series are critical for understanding emerging changes to the hydrological cycle. To this end we construct a homogenised Island of Ireland Precipitation (IIP) network comprising 25 stations and a composite series covering the period 1850-2010, providing the secondlongest regional precipitation archive in the British-Irish Isles. We expand the existing catalogue of long-term precipitation records for the island by recovering archived data for an additional eight stations. Following bridging and updating of stations HOMER homogenisation software is used to detect breaks using pairwise and joint detection. Twenty-five breakpoints are detected across 14 stations, and the majority (20) are corroborated by metadata. Assessment of variability and change in homogenised and extended precipitation records reveal positive (winter) and negative (summer) trends. Trends in records covering the typical period of digitisation (1941 onwards) are not always representative of longer records. Furthermore, trends in post-homogenisation series change magnitude and even direction at some stations. While cautionary flags are raised for some series, confidence in the derived network is high given attention paid to metadata, coherence of behaviour across the network and consistency of findings with other long-term climatic series such as England and Wales precipitation. As far as we are aware, this work represents the first application of HOMER to a longterm precipitation network and bodes well for use in other regions. It is expected that the homogenised IIP network will find wider utility in benchmarking and supporting climate services across the Island of Ireland, a sentinel location in the North Atlantic.


CM/TM and JC/SW acknowledge funding provided by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency under projects 2014-CCRP-MS.16 and 2012-CCRP-FS.11 respectively.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

International Journal of Climatology


NOONE, S. ... et al, 2016. Homogenisation and analysis of an expanded monthly rainfall network for the Island of Ireland (1850-2010). International Journal of Climatology, doi: 10.1002/joc.4522


Wiley (© 2015 Royal Meteorological Society)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This paper is closed access until 5th October 2016.






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