Ireland's weather is Temperate Oceanic, which in this part of the world means mainly "changeable" or "unsettled". It can change weekly, daily, even hourly, as successive fronts move in from the Atlantic, or, more rarely, can settle into calm, dry weather for weeks or months on end.
While we suffer no great extremes of heat or cold, wind or rain, we do get more wet or damp, drizzly days than most Americans or Europeans are used to, especially in winter.
In general, after discounting altitude and local factors, rainfall and windspeed in the extreme west of the country are almost twice that in the extreme east (But on average, apart from Wicklow, the scenery in the west is doubly spectacular).
RAINFALL : - The number of "wet days", meteorologically defined as 0.0394"/1mm+ of rain, equal to a steady fall of light rain for one hour or more, varies from about one day in three in Dublin to one day in two in western coastal/mountainous areas. Many of these "wet days" would be accounted for by one or two short, heavy showers. Total rainfall varies from 30" in the eastern lowlands to 48" in western lowlands to over 80" in the mountains.
TEMPERATURE : - Average daily maxima range from a high of 20C/68F in summer in the southern half of the country, to a low of 7C/44F in winter in the midlands. In a good summer, the daily maximum will regularly exceed 20C/68F over a period of a few weeks, occasionally exceed 25C/77F inland, and even reach 30C/86F every 5 years or so.
WINDSPEED : - Average windspeed ranges from 13mph around most of the coast to 8mph inland. Gales (sustained winds of 35mph, gusts 50mph) occur once every 2 months inland and once a week at Malin Head, at the most exposed northern tip of the island. Storms (sustained winds of 55mph, gusts 75mph) occur on average 4 times per year at Malin Head. The maximum recorded gust was 110mph. Although gales and storms can occur in any month, they are rare from April through August.
Last updated october 2000.
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