Parts of the country had their driest winter in 18 years

Weather conditions throughout winter 2015 were variable throughout the country with some experiencing a dry winter while others saw a much wetter one, according to Met Eireann.

It says winter rainfall values were variable, with mainly below average values in the East, Southeast, South and in isolated parts of the Midlands.

December reported dry conditions of around 50% of normal mainly in the South and Southeast, while below average rainfall was reported in the East, Southeast and South in January and nearly everywhere in February, Met Eireann says.

It also says seasonal values were lowest in the South and Southeast, with the lowest winter rainfall value of 58% recorded at Johnstown Castle with a seasonal rainfall accumulation of 168.4 mm, its driest winter season in 18 years.

However, things were much different in parts of the West and Northwest with Newport reporting the season’s highest percentage average rainfall value and rainfall accumulation with 148% and 702.0 mm, respectively.

The wettest day of the winter was reported at Newport on December 22 with 38.9mm, its wettest December day in 12 years.

Knock Airport’s wettest day of 32.5 mm on January 14 was its wettest winter day on record since the station opened in 1996.

In terms of temperatures, Met Eireann says winter mean temperatures were below average nearly everywhere. It says winter mean air temperatures were mainly below average with a few coastal West and Northwest stations reporting just above their normal value.

Met Eireann says variable mean air temperatures were recorded in December and January with below average mean temperatures reported in February.

Met Eireann says the highest temperature of winter were all reported on Jan 1 or Jan 9, with the season’s highest maximum of 16.2°C reported at Carlow (Oak Park) on Jan 9, its highest since winter 2007/2008.

A few highest winter maxima in the East, South and Southwest were the highest in seven to 11 years.

The lowest winter temperature was -7.9°C at Dublin Airport on February 3, its lowest recorded during February since 1956. The season’s lowest grass temperature was -11.9°C at Gurteen on February 4.

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