March likely to be one of the coldest on record

Most weather stations show temperatures three degrees lower than normal for month

March is likely to be confirmed as one of the coldest – if not the coldest – on record when Met Éireann publishes its monthly figures today.

Temperatures were well below normal everywhere, according to preliminary figures. Indeed, the month was so cold that every weather station reported a warmer January than March. It may well have been the coldest March since 1962.

Since February 18th, a high pressure area has been sending chilling easterly winds over the country.

Average temperatures at Dublin Airport were just 3.1 degrees, 3.7 degrees lower than normal for March. In Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, they were 4.2 degrees, when the monthly average is 7.1.


In Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where the average for March is 6.4 degrees, the temperature was 3.1.

Exceptionally cold
At Knock Airport in Co Mayo, the temperature was a distinctly chilly 2.6 degrees, more than 3 degrees below the monthly normal of 5.7. It was also an exceptionally cold Easter Sunday with lows of minus 1.7 degrees at Knock and minus 2.1 degrees at Ballyhaise, Co Cavan.

Normally monthly weather statistics are published on the first day of the following month, but they are not available until today because of the bank holiday.

The bad news is that the unseasonably cold weather of the past six weeks will continue for the rest of this week.

Wind chill factor
Temperatures will be no higher than 4-5 degrees, although they will steadily increase later in the week and the wind chill factor will diminish.

It finally looks like there will be a respite from the chilling temperatures by the weekend, with indications that an Atlantic front will come in by the weekend bringing southwesterly winds and average temperatures of between 9-11 degrees.

All of northern Europe has experienced a colder March than normal.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times