Tuesday 4 January 2011

December weather summary

The Weather of December 2010: Coldest December on record; mainly dry and sunny

Spells of exceptionally cold weather during December brought some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded in Ireland, together with heavy snowfalls in places. There were also short periods of milder weather, while overall the month was drier and sunnier than normal.

Mean air temperatures for the month were up to six degrees lower than normal in places and it was the coldest December on record almost everywhere. It was also the coldest of any month at Dublin Airport, Casement Aerodrome and Mullingar, each with over 50 years of record. The lowest December air temperature ever measured in the country, -17.5°C, was recorded at the climatological station of Straide, Co. Mayo, on the morning of the 25th, while Casement Aerodrome’s minimum value of -15.7°C on the same day was the lowest value of any month ever recorded in the Dublin area. Ballyhaise’s mean monthly temperature of -1.4°C represents the lowest ever measured in the country for any month; the maximum daily value of -9.4°C at the same station on the 21st was the lowest daily maximum on record.

The Weather of 2010: Colder, drier and much sunnier than normal

The year began and ended with spells of exceptionally cold weather, but the months between April and September were warmer than normal. Mean annual air temperatures were below normal everywhere, by around half a degree generally, and it was the coldest year since 1986 at most stations. The months of January, February and November were the coldest for at least 25 years, while December was the coldest on record. The year’s lowest temperatures were measured during November and December, setting new records for both months; air temperatures fell below -15°C in inland areas at times during December.

There was a total of between 75 and 100 air frosts at most inland stations during the year, twice the average amount. The warmest months of 2010 relative to normal were June and September, but many stations recorded their highest daily values unusually early in the year, on either May 22nd or 23rd. Despite the relatively low annual air temperatures in Ireland, global temperatures were again above the 1961-1990 annual average, as they have been for each year since 1983. According to data compiled by the World Meteorological Organisation, the year 2010 is almost certain to rank in the top three warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850, with global combined sea surface and land surface air temperatures around 0.5°C above normal.
source met eireann

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