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The Weather of 2016
04 January 2017

>>> The full 2016 and December Weather Summaries are available here >>>

The stormy end of 2015 continued into early 2016, as the north Atlantic Jet Stream continued to steer windy, wet and yet very mild weather over Ireland during January and much of February. This unsettled pattern persisted through spring also, characterized by frequent frontal passages alternating with short periods of high pressure. However, high pressure prevailed from the latter part of May well into June bringing a lot of fine, settled and sunny weather. The rest of the summer period was changeable again, as several Atlantic depressions affected the country. Nevertheless a brief fine spell between 17th and 19th of July brought the warmest days of the year. The autumn season began unsettled, but then an anticyclone dominated through October, November and much of December; a period noted for mainly dry weather and slack winds. However conditions changed abruptly as Atlantic depressions brought heavy rain and strong winds over the Christmas period, though conditions did abate and it remained mild till the end of the year.

Temperature: mainly above Average; 17th warmest year since 1900
Almost all annual mean air temperatures were on or slightly above their Long-term Average (LTA). The coolest monthly conditions were in parts of the South in November with differences of over -2.5°C from LTA, while the warmest conditions were in parts of the West in June with deviations of near 2°C. Annual mean temperature differences from LTA ranged from -0.3°C at Markree, Co Sligo with an annual mean temperature of 9.3°C to 0.6°C at Dublin (Phoenix Park) with an annual mean temperature of 10.3°C. The highest temperatures were recorded in mid-July with the highest temperature of 2016 reported at Mount Dillion, Co Roscommon on July 19th with 30.4°C. The lowest temperatures of the year were recorded at the end of both February and November with the lowest air temperature of 2016 was reported at Markree, Co Sligo on November 25th with -7.3°C, while the year’s lowest grass temperature was reported on February 24th with -10.4°C at Carlow (Oak Park). In a time series of five long-term stations, 2016 ranks provisionally as the 17th warmest since 1900.

Rainfall: record breaking daily rainfall at Valentia Observatory
Annual rainfall totals were mainly below their Average. The driest month relative to LTA was October with the majority of stations reporting around 50% or less of LTA. The wettest monthly conditions were in parts of the South in February with stations reporting near or over double their average rainfall. Annual percentage of LTA values ranged from 78%?at Mace Head, Co Galway with 1046.7 mm to 104% at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry with 1616.9 mm. The wettest day was reported in the Southwest on October 3rd as a slow moving frontal system affected the area, the highest daily rainfall reported at synoptic station was 105.5 mm at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry, its wettest day since the station opened in 1866.

Sunshine: highest daily sunshine reported at Malin Head
Annual sunshine totals were lowest at Knock Airport with an annual total of 1099.6 hours (daily mean of 3.0 hrs/day). The highest annual sunshine total was 1411.5 hours (daily mean 3.9 hrs/day) at Dublin Airport*. The sunniest day for 2016 was reported on June 2nd at Malin Head, Co Donegal* with 15.8 hours. The number of dull days ranged from 78 at Dublin Airport* to 123 at Knock Airport.

Wind: Storm Imogen records year’s highest gust
Annual mean wind speeds ranged from 5.8 knots (10.7 km/h) at Fermoy (Moore Park), Co Cork to 14.4 knots (26.7 km/h) at Mace Head, Co Galway. Both the year’s highest gust and the highest 10-minute mean wind speed were recorded at Sherkin Island, Co Cork during Storm Imogen (on Feb 8th) with 73 knots (135 km/h) and 54 knots (100 km/h), respectively.

>>> The full 2016 and December Weather Summaries are available here >>>

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