The recent winter was the warmest on record across many of Met Éireann’s weather stations, the national forecaster has said.
The 2018/2019 winter season was also drier than average, a summary published by Met Éireann on Tuesday said.
The Phoenix Park weather station in Dublin city had its warmest winter, since records began in 1855. Valentia island off the south west coast of Kerry had its hottest winter since the station opened in 1893. Similarly the weather station in Mullingar, Co Westmeath clocked its warmest winter since records started there in 1950.
The highest temperature over the season was 17.3 degrees, reported at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon, on February 25th, the hottest winter temperature since 2006.
Several stations recorded their highest temperature average in decades, according to the national forecaster’s summary of the winter season. Average temperatures at Knock airport station, Co Mayo hit six degrees, the warmest since 1997. At Sherkin Island, Co Cork average temperatures for the season were 9.3 degrees, the highest since 1975.
The number of days where stations reported frost on the ground ranged from nine days over the winter at Mace Head, Co Galway, to 42 days in Phoenix Park. Several stations reported no days where frost was recorded in the air during the winter.
February was the sunniest month of the winter, with the highest number of hours of sunshine per day reported at Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, where 10 hours of sunshine were recorded on February26th.
Dublin Airport weather station saw the most overall hours of sunshine during the winter, with 189 hours over the season. The winter season includes December, January, and February.
The number of dull days with little sunshine recorded ranged from 39 days at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin, to 56 at Knock Airport, Co Mayo.
The windiest day of the winter was January 26th , where stations recorded both the strongest gust, and highest average wind speeds. The highest wind gust was 124 km/per hour at Mace Head, Co Galway.
Some stations had no recordings of gale force winds over the season, while Mace Head station recorded 14 days where wind speed reached gale force.
In a summary of the winter weather, Met Éireann said Storm Deirdre on December 15th was one of the windiest periods of the season. However days of disruptive weather were followed by low pressure systems that settled the skies, leading to a relatively calm period into Christmas and the last week of the year.
“The first half of January stayed mostly dry and relatively mild with high pressure dominating in a slack, cloudy airflow,” the forecaster’s summary said. This was followed by colder and more unsettled weather in the second half of the month, due to polar maritime air masses.
The end of January and start of February was the coldest snap of the season, with polar air masses bringing wintry showers and snow in some parts of the country.
Overall the second half of February was “mild and mostly dry”, with unusual periods of good sunshine towards the end of the month.