Colder than average winter officially over, Met Éireann says

Kerry had highest rainfall of season and last day of February brought highest sunshine hours to Dublin

Met Éireann meteorologists said the shift of the North Atlantic jet stream south had brought cooler than average temperatures for the majority of the winter. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Met Éireann meteorologists said the shift of the North Atlantic jet stream south had brought cooler than average temperatures for the majority of the winter. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Winter is officially over. That is according to Met Éireann, which said it was colder than average due to the North Atlantic jet stream being displaced to the south for December, January and much of February.

Commenting on the season, Met Éireann meteorologists said the shift of the jet stream south had brought cooler than average temperatures for the majority of the winter, but milder conditions dominated in the second half of February as the jet stream moved north again.

Rainfall

The highest rain total of the winter was recorded as 625.1mm at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry, with the driest place being Casement Aerodrome, Dublin, where just 243.4 mm were recorded.

The highest daily rainfall of the winter was 41.4mm noted at Newport, Co Mayo, on Tuesday January 19th.

It was the wettest winter for the last five years at 10 stations including Phoenix Park, Dublin; Oak Park, Co Carlow; Dublin Airport; Moorepark, Co Cork; Sherkin Island, Co Cork; Roches Point, Co Cork; Dunsany, Co Meath; Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford; Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry; and Cork Airport.

Stormy weather on Dún Laoghaire Pier in February. Photograph: Tom Honan
Stormy weather on Dún Laoghaire Pier in February. Photograph: Tom Honan

The highest average temperature of the season was 7.3 degrees, recorded at Sherkin Island, Co Cork – which was nearly half a degree below its long-term average. Sherkin recorded its coldest winter since 2011.

The lowest-average temperature of the season was recorded as 4.2 degrees at Knock Airport, Co Mayo. The temperature of 4.2 degrees is also Knock Airport’s long-term average winter temperature.

Temperatures were below average nearly everywhere.

Sunshine

The highest levels of sunshine were recorded at Cork Airport, with 238.6 hours over the three months. The daily average amount of sunshine – as opposed to daylight – was 2.65 hours per day. It was the sunniest winter there since 2011.

The lowest amount of sunshine hours for the season was 147.4 hours at Malin Head, Co Donegal, where the daily average was just 1.64 hours per day.

Highest daily sunshine for the season was 10.2 hours , recorded at Dublin Airport, on Sunday February 28th. This was the highest daily sunshine for winter on record.

The number of dull days ranged from two days at Knock Airport, Co Mayo, to 43 days at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin.

Seasonal mean wind speeds ranged from 6.8 knots (12.6 km/h) at Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, and Mullingar, Co Westmeath, to 18.0 knots (33.3 km/h) at Malin Head, Co Donegal.

Gales were reported on numerous days with up to strong gales reported on 10 days during the season. Storm-force winds were reported on Sunday February 14th and Friday December 4th.

The season’s highest 10-minute average wind speed was reported at both Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Belmullet, Co Mayo, on Friday December 4th and Sunday February 14th respectively at 51 knots (94 km/h). The highest gust was 68 knots (125 km/h) reported at Belmullet, Co Mayo, on Sunday February 14th. Only one of the three named storms during the season, Storm Bella on December 26th, brought strong winds to Ireland.

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