May was a warm month with mostly dry conditions – Met Eireann

It was the warmest May in eight years in parts of the country with all stations recording mean air temperatures above their Long-Term Average (LTA).

Mean temperatures were nearest to normal in the north and northwest with Malin Head, Co. Donegal and Markree, Co. Sligo which Met Eireann said both recorded mean temperatures of 10.5 degrees and 11.1 degrees, respectively.

It found that the largest difference from LTA was 1.4 degrees reported at Dublin (Phoenix Park) with a mean temperature of 12.2 degrees, its warmest May in eight years.

Over half of the stations located mainly in the west, southwest, south and in parts of the midlands also had their warmest May since 2008.

The month’s warmest days were May 9, 12, 13, 30 and 31 with the month’s highest temperature and the year’s highest temperature so far reported at Belmullet, Co. Mayo on May 9 with 25.4 degrees.

This was its fourth highest May temperature on record since the station opened in 1956, according to Met Eireann.

Meanwhile, the lowest temperatures were mainly on May 6, 15, 23 and 24 with the month’s lowest air temperature reported at Markree, Co. Sligo on May 6, with -1.4 degrees, its lowest for May in six years.

The lowest grass minimum was at Finner, Co. Donegal on the May 15 with -4.8 degrees.

Rainfall: some western parts have driest May in six years

Percentage of LTA rainfall values were variable across the country for May, Met Eireann found, with around two-thirds of stations reporting below average rainfall for the time of year.

Lowest totals were recorded in the west, with both Mace Head, Co. Galway and Newport, Co. Mayo reporting 65% of their LTA rainfall with 53.4mm and 61.6mm, respectively.

This was the driest May for both stations since 2010, while a few isolated western and southern stations also reported their driest May conditions in six years.

The highest percentage of LTA rainfall was 112% recorded at Malin Head, Co. Donegal, Met Eireann found, with a monthly accumulation of 65.6mm.

The wettest days during the month were mainly May 9, 10 and 21 with the month’s wettest day reported at Valentia Observatory, Co. Kerry on May 10 with 23.7mm.

Sunshine: sunniest May in 16 years at Shannon Airport

Meanwhile, monthly sunshine totals were lowest at Knock Airport, Co. Mayo with 192.2hrs (daily mean 6.2hrs, 110% of LTA), while the highest monthly total was reported at Malin Head with 259.7hrs (daily mean 8.4hrs).

Shannon Airport, Co. Clare recorded a monthly total of 224.0 hours (124% of LTA) its sunniest May since
2000 while another southern station at Cork Airport had its sunniest May in nine years with 204.6 hours
(106% of LTA).

Wind: only one day with gale force winds; mainly calm conditions

Met Eireann found that monthly mean wind speeds ranged from 5.2 knots (9.6 km/h) at Fermoy (Moore Park), Co. Cork, its lowest for May in eight years to 12.1 knots (22.4 km/h) at Malin Head, Co. Donegal.

Around half of stations reported their calmest May in six to 15 years. Only one day, the May 4, reported gale force winds in parts of the west and north.

Both the month’s highest 10-minute mean wind speed and month’s highest gust both recorded at Belmullet also on May 4, with 36 knots (67 km/h) and 47 knots (87 km/h), respectively.