A warm December breaks Met Éireann records

Dublin’s Phoenix Park recorded its highest temperatures in almost 160 years

December would appear to have broken records for being the warmest and wettest on record.

Preliminary figures from weather stations around the country show temperatures were at least 3 degrees above normal almost everywhere and rainfall amounts were three times the December average.

December's weather was characterised by "exceptionally wet and mild" weather, according to Pat Clarke of Met Éireann.

There were two major storm systems, Desmond and Frank, which brought torrential rain to most parts of the country.


He stated that, for the last six weeks, the weather has been dominated by weather fronts coming from the South Atlantic dragging with them mild and moist air over the country.

“If the wind direction during winter is south-south westerly and coming from a warm region it tends to bring a lot of rain with it. Mild and moist is a bad combination in winter,” he said.

Cork Airport recorded 402.2mm (16 inches) of rain in December, a 302 per cent increase on the monthly average which is 133.2mm.

In Fermoy, which has seen a lot of flooding recently, 324.3mm of rainfall was recorded. That is 312 per cent of the monthly average which is 103.9mm.

Mullingar recorded 274.4mm of rain in December, 290 per cent of the monthly average of 94.7mm.

Rainfall levels at Dublin Airport were 266 per cent the monthly average. A total of 193.5mm of rain fell during the month; the average is 72.7mm.

Many weather stations also recorded the warmest December on record.

The average temperature in the Phoenix Park during December 2015 was 8.9 degrees breaking a 159 year record stretching back to 1857 when a monthly average of 8.4 degrees was recorded.

Shannon Airport recorded an average temperature of 9.2 degrees in December 2015. The previous record was 8.9 degrees recorded in 1974.

Valentia in Co Kerry’s monthly average of 10 degrees equalled the record set in 1921, making December 2015 as warm as April 2015.

Cork Airport’s mean temperature for December 2015 at 8.3 degrees was only 0.1 of a degree below the record December temperature which was recorded in 1988.

The mild weather has seen daffodils appear across the country weeks before they are due to appear.

There has been only two to three days of frost over the last six weeks.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times