Rainfall totals below average in nearly all Irish weather stations last month

Sunshine totals above average for September; settled weather broke down at end of month

Rainfall totals were below average in nearly all of the country’s weather stations last month, according to Met Éireann’s weather summary for September.

The highest temperature reported last month was at the Phoenix Park in Dublin on the 14th with 24.7 degrees. The lowest temperature was recorded on the 26th at Markree, Co Sligo with minus 2.1 degrees.

Three stations in Cork (Moore Park, Cork Airport and Roches Point) had dry spells between the 3rd and 21st. Monthly rainfall totals ranged from 41.6mm at Shannon Airport to 153.4mm at Newport, Co Mayo.

The month’s wettest day was also recorded at Newport with 43.7mm on the 2nd. The majority of station’s mean temperatures were either slightly above or slightly below their long-term average for the month. More than half of the stations reported ground frost.


Sunshine totals were above average for the month, ranging from 109.8 hours at Belmullet, Co Mayo to 157.1 hours at Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford.

The highest number of daily sunshine hours recorded in September was 11.2 hours at both Gurteen, Co Tipperary and Belmullet on the 20th and 19th.

Three stations reported gales during September - Belmullet, Sherkin Island, Co Cork and Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry.

Both the month’s highest gust and 10-minute mean wind speed were reported on the 24th. The highest gust was 111km/h at Valentia Observatory while the month’s highest 10-minute mean wind speed was 82km/h at Sherkin Island.

September 2020 started with low pressure to the northwest, bringing “active weather fronts” across the country on the 2nd with widespread heavy rain and some flooding in the north west, the weather summary states.

"High pressure, which began to develop to the south of Ireland during the rest of the first week, gradually pushed the jet stream and low pressure systems further north, while keeping Ireland in a mild southwesterly airflow.

“This setup, which continued into the second week, brought a lot of dry weather, especially in the southern half of the country, but active weather fronts brought some heavy falls of rain to the north and north west during this period.”

High pressure developed over mainland Europe and to the north of Ireland during the third week of September, which brought a "warm and sunnier continental airflow" over the country from the southeast and the dry conditions spread countrywide.

The settled weather broke down at the beginning of the fourth week as a cold front brought a change of air mass with cooler conditions that continued for the rest of the month.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times