Heatwaves in Ireland: When did they happen and where?

As the country experiences sustained warm weather again, we take a look at some of the other record-breaking temperatures in the past

Last month Ireland and many other parts of Europe experienced record-breaking temperatures due to sweltering conditions that swept across the continent.

Dublin’s Phoenix Park recorded the highest temperature since its weather station opened in the early 1800s, reaching 33 degrees on Monday, July 18th at around 3:30pm.

The temperature, which is the highest ever recorded in Dublin, is 8 degrees higher than the station’s long-term average.

It is also the second highest temperature on record for Ireland, being 0.3 degrees below the all-time record of 33.3 degrees observed at Kilkenny Castle on June 26th, 1887.

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But this isn’t the first heatwave the country has experienced, and they are becoming more frequent, intense and lasting longer, according to Met Éireann, which said it is being driven by human-caused climate change.

A heatwave in Ireland is defined as five consecutive days with a maximum temperature in excess of 25 degrees.

July 2021

Met Éireann issued its first ever Status Orange high temperature warning for six counties, with the mercury topping 30 degrees in some areas.

The warning was issued for Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, and Westmeath, while a status yellow heat warning was applied countrywide for the week.

2018

The summer of this year was one of the warmest and driest on record for Ireland and most of northwestern Europe, during which time heatwaves were recorded at 15 stations.

Oak Park weather station in Co Carlow notched up an 11-day heatwave in late June, the longest heatwave in the last 20 years. Absolute and partial drought conditions prevailed for much of June and July.

2006

The hottest spell in Ireland was in mid-July, with the highest temperature, 32.3 degrees, recorded at Elphin, Co Roscommon on July 19th of that year.

Kilkenny had 29 consecutive days in July when temperatures exceeded 20 degrees, nine of which were 25 degrees or higher.

2003

Ireland experienced sweltering heat in August, particularly between the 4th and 8th, when temperatures topped 25 degrees in many places during the day and remained above 15 degrees at night.

August 8th was the hottest day of the year when the Mayo weather stations of Belmullet and Claremorris recorded values of 27.7 degrees and 29.5 degrees respectively.

1995

The summer of 1995 is one of the warmest on record. Kilkenny had 27 days where temperatures exceed 25 degrees, and recorded the highest temperature of the summer at 30.8 degrees on August 2nd.

1983

Two heatwaves were experienced in Ireland this year. The first was between July 10th and July 16th, while the second occurred between August 15th and 26th.

The July heatwave saw water shortages emerge as the extreme heat caused drought conditions.

1976

By the time it ended, the three-month heatwave during the summer of this year had caused the worst drought in 150 years.

Boora, Co Offaly recorded a temperature of 32.5 degrees on June 29th, and was the fifth day in a row when the mercury had breached 32 degrees.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times