Spring 2023 hotter and rainier than average across most parts of the State

Nearly all rainfall totals were above their 1981-2010 long-term average for the season

Spring 2023 had rainfall totals above the long-term average (LTA) at almost all observation stations, with all mean temperatures above their average, according to Met Éireann. But the season, which began very wet, grew much drier as it drew to a close in May.

March was wet and dull overall after a dry and cool beginning with low pressure to the southwest of Ireland dominating after the first week. Storm Larisa, named by Météo-France, brought heavy rain and snow at the beginning of the second week.

The rest of the month was milder with numerous bands of frontal rain or showers crossing the country “in a relatively mild cyclonic airflow” Met Éireann said in its report for the season issued on Tuesday.

April was mild overall; the month fluctuating between “Scandinavian high-pressure dominance”, bringing some dry periods, and Atlantic low-pressure dominance, bringing some wet periods.


A deep depression – named storm Noa – gave widespread wet and windy weather towards mid-month. A period of easterly winds followed, with high pressure to the north. The month finished showery with some heavy and thundery downpours.

May was warm and calm overall. During the first half of the month low pressure brought bands of frontal rain and heavy thundery showers in places. “The second half of the month was very dry everywhere and dominated by blocking high pressure leading to drought conditions in the east,” it added.

Nearly all rainfall totals were above their 1981-2010 long-term average for the season. Percentage of seasonal rainfall values ranged from 76 per cent (seasonal rainfall total of 194.8mm) at Finner, Co Donegal, to 142 per cent (342.8mm) at Athenry, Co Galway.

The number of very wet days ranged from one day at Finner, Co Donegal, to 15 days at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry. Phoenix Park, Dublin, had its wettest spring since 1998 with 225.6mm (134 per cent of LTA) and Dublin Airport had its wettest spring since 2002 with 232.6mm (140 per cent of LTA).

By the end of May, however, there were five ongoing dry spells lasting between 17 and 20 days and four ongoing “absolute droughts” lasting 17 days; all in the east of the country.

All mean air temperatures across the country were above their LTA for spring. The season’s highest temperature was reported at Shannon Airport, Co Clare, on May 30th, with a temperature of 24.9 degrees. The season’s lowest air minimum was recorded on March 27th at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin with minus 4.3 degrees.

The number of days with gales ranged from zero days at a few stations to five days at Mace Head, Co Galway, and Malin Head, Co Donegal.

All monthly rainfall totals across the country were below their 1981-2010 LTA during May. Seven stations reported their warmest May on record. These were Phoenix Park, Dublin; Oak Park, Co Carlow, Moore Park, Co Cork, Roches Point, Co Cork, Dunsany, Co Meath, Athenry, Co Galway, and Cork Airport. Most other stations had their warmest May since 2008.

The weather for coming days is forecast to be dry and sunny with some rain at the weekend. The further outlook is “staying warm with showers at times. Maximum temperatures generally in the low 20s.”

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times