Storm Nelson

Storm Nelson wreaked havoc in Spain and affected the UK.

Despite its reputation for sunny skies, was plunged into chaos by the ferocity of Nelson, leaving a trail of destruction that spilled over into the United Kingdom. The recent onslaught of severe weather prompted authorities to issue warnings to Irish holidaymakers preparing to travel to over the Easter break, cautioning them to brace for the impending stormy conditions.

Nelson made its devastating landfall in Spain on Thursday, March 28, claiming the lives of at least four individuals, including tourists caught in its relentless grip.

The Spanish meteorological service issued a barrage of weather alerts, some of which were elevated to Status Orange, signaling the imminent danger posed by powerful winds, coastal inundation, torrential rainfall, and even snowstorms.

Providing updates on the weekend forecast, officials warned, “March 29 to 31 will be dominated by the impact of Nelson, unleashing a tempest of and heavy rainfall across the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. Expect widespread precipitation, potentially intensifying locally on Friday in areas such as Cádiz, Sierra Morena, and the Pyrenees, and persisting throughout the weekend along the Andalusian Mediterranean coasts. may accompany the rainfall, while snowfall is anticipated in the mountainous regions of the Peninsula. In the Canary Islands, a passing front will bring rainfall, particularly heavy in the northern sectors of the western islands, accompanied by fierce gusts from the west and northwest.”

The storm, bearing a Spanish name, also swept through parts of England on Thursday, unleashing winds reaching speeds of up to 70 mph. Residents in Devon were caught off guard as heavy blanketed the region, a mere few days before Easter. The unexpected snowfall covered a wide expanse of the county, including the expansive Dartmoor National Park in south Devon and Exmoor in the north.

The Met Office cautioned that gusts of up to 50 mph were anticipated across widespread areas, with certain exposed coastal regions bracing for gusts of 60 to 70 mph, accompanied by the likelihood of significant wave activity. The warning spanned from the Eastbourne area in East Sussex, traversing the entire southern coastline to Penzance, encompassing the Isle of Wight and segments of the northern Cornish coast. Additionally, a yellow warning was issued for the eastern portion of Northern , with heavy rainfall posing potential disruptions to travel and infrastructure, according to the Met Office.

The occurrence of such severe weather events underscores the escalating climate crisis, emphasizing the imperative for concerted global action to mitigate its catastrophic impacts.