While the first half of January was mild, wet and often windy with Atlantic low pressure, the second half of the month was much drier, especially in the east, with high pressure dominating, according to Met Éireann’s provisional statement for the month.
The national forecaster said the month began with two weeks of widespread rain or showers on most days. A particularly deep area of low pressure to the west of Ireland steered an active weather front across the country on the 6th, followed by heavy thundery showers on the 7th. This was followed by a very wet and windy period between the 10th and 13th.
The highest daily rainfall was 28.4mm, recorded at Newport, Co Mayo on Tuesday, January 10th.
The switch came at the beginning of the third week when an Arctic air mass moved down from the north, as high pressure built to the west over the Atlantic. The north to northwesterly airflow brought bands of heavy showers, falling as hail, sleet or snow in many places, between the 16th and 19th.
The highest daily rainfall was 28.4mm, recorded at Newport, Co Mayo on Tuesday, January 10th
There was widespread frost at night, with lying snow in parts of the north, west, south-west and midlands. The Atlantic high pressure sank south, which allowed mild air to move in from the west on the 20th.
The remainder of the month was relatively mild and dry with high pressure to the south and east dominating. Several weak weather fronts crossed the country during this period, but rainfall amounts stayed low.
Sunshine did appear in January, with nearly all available sunshine totals above their long-term averages. The sunniest places were in the east of the island.
There was a monthly sunshine total of 50 hours at Shannon Airport, Co Clare and a monthly sunshine total of 71 hours at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin. Monthly totals ranged from 29.6 hours at Belmullet, Co Mayo, to 90.1 hours at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin.
Even in January, the “sunny south-east” lived up to its name with the highest amount of daily sunshine hours, some 7.2 hours, recorded at Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford on Wednesday 18th. The number of dull days ranged from 10 days at a few stations to 16 days at both Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry and Belmullet, Co Mayo.
January also saw some storm force winds reported with the monthly average wind speeds ranging from 10.9km/h at Moore Park, Co Cork to 17.3 knots (32.0km/h) at Malin Head, Co Donegal. Storm force winds were reported on Thursday 12th.
Gales were reported on 14 days with up to strong gales reported on Saturday 7th, Wednesday 11th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.
Both the month’s highest gust and 10-minute average wind speed were reported at Mace Head, Co Galway on Thursday 12th
The number of days with gales ranged from zero days at Dublin Airport, to 10 days at both Mace Head, Co Galway and Malin Head, Co Donegal.
The number of days with “up to strong gales” ranged from zero days at most stations to three days at both Mace Head, Co Galway and Malin Head, Co Donegal. The number of days with storm force winds was one day at Mace Head, Co Galway. Both the month’s highest gust and 10-minute average wind speed were reported at Mace Head, Co Galway on Thursday 12th. The highest gust was 122km/h, while the month’s highest 10-minute mean wind speed was 89km/h.
There were above-average temperatures everywhere, with the number of days of air frost ranging from one day at Sherkin Island, Co Cork, to 8 days at both Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon and Claremorris, Co Mayo.