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  • Climate of Ireland

    Climate of Ireland

    • Belmullet (1981-2010)
      Climate chart ()
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
      Precipitation totals in mm
      J F M A M J J A S O N D
       
       
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
      Precipitation totals in mm
      Birr (1979-2008)
      Climate chart ()
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
      Precipitation totals in mm
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
      Precipitation totals in mm
      Casement Aerodrome (1981-2010)
      Climate chart ()
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
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      Clones (1978-2007)
      Climate chart ()
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      Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
      Precipitation totals in mm

      The climate of Ireland is mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. Ireland's climate is defined as a temperate oceanic climate, or Cfb on the Köppen climate classification system, a classification it shares with most of northwest Europe. The country receives generally cool summers and mild winters. It is considerably warmer than other areas on its latitude, because it lies in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, and as a result is warmed by the North Atlantic Current all year.

      As a small island downwind of a large ocean, the climate of Ireland is profoundly impacted by that ocean. The Atlantic overturning circulation, which includes ocean currents such as the North Atlantic Current, moves heat northwards, which is then carried by the prevailing winds towards Ireland.

      The prevailing wind blows from the southwest, breaking on the high mountains of the west coast. Rainfall is therefore a particularly prominent part of western Irish life, with Valentia Island, off the west coast of County Kerry, getting almost twice as much annual rainfall as Dublin on the east (1,400 mm or 55.1 in vs. 762 mm or 30.0 in).

      January and February are the coldest months of the year, and mean daily air temperatures fall between 4 and 7 °C (39.2 and 44.6 °F) during these months. July and August are the warmest, with mean daily temperatures of 14 to 16 °C (57.2 to 60.8 °F), whilst mean daily maximums in July and August vary from 17 to 18 °C (62.6 to 64.4 °F) near the coast, to 19 to 20 °C (66.2 to 68.0 °F) inland. The sunniest months are May and June, with an average of five to seven hours sunshine per day. Though extreme weather events in Ireland are comparatively rare when compared with other countries in the European Continent, they do occur. Atlantic depressions, occurring mainly in the months of December, January and February, can occasionally bring winds of up to 160 km/h or 99 mph to Western coastal counties, with the winter of 2013/14 being the stormiest on record. The summer months, and particularly around late July/early August, thunderstorms can develop.


      Climate data for Ireland
      Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
      Record high °C (°F) 18.5
      (65.3)
      18.1
      (64.6)
      23.6
      (74.5)
      25.8
      (78.4)
      28.4
      (83.1)
      33.3
      (91.9)
      32.3
      (90.1)
      31.5
      (88.7)
      29.1
      (84.4)
      25.2
      (77.4)
      20.1
      (68.2)
      18.1
      (64.6)
      33.3
      (91.9)
      Record low °C (°F) −19.1
      (−2.4)
      −17.8
      (0)
      −17.2
      (1)
      −7.7
      (18.1)
      −5.6
      (21.9)
      −3.3
      (26.1)
      −0.3
      (31.5)
      −2.7
      (27.1)
      −3
      (27)
      −8.3
      (17.1)
      −11.5
      (11.3)
      −17.5
      (0.5)
      −19.1
      (−2.4)
      Source #1: Met Éireann
      Source #2: The Irish Times (November record high)

      • The driest year recorded in Ireland was 1887, with 356.6 mm (14.04 in) of rain recorded at Glasnevin, County Dublin.
      • The longest drought in Ireland occurred in Limerick between 3 April 1938 and 10 May 1938 (37 days).
      • The greatest monthly total was 790.0 mm (31.10 in); recorded at the Cummeragh Mountains, County Kerry, in October 1996.
      • The greatest annual total was 3,964.9 mm (156.10 in); recorded at Ballaghbeena Gap in 1960.
      • The greatest hourly total was 97 mm (3.82 in); recorded at Orra Beg, County Antrim, in August 1980.
      • The greatest daily total was 243.5 mm (9.59 in); recorded at Cloone Lake, County Kerry, on 18 September 1993.
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