The Weather of IrelandMarch 17th, 2014 at 1:47 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
<–click to enlarge the map of Ireland. Over the last 16 years (inc. 2013), this has been the weirdest day for weather in W. Michigan! Today will be no exception. After 3 years in a row with temperatures well above normal on St. Patrick’s Day 3/17/13 was 15 degrees cooler than average with a high of 30 in G.R. That’s about what it will be today. That follows five years that were significantly colder than average. In fact, here are the high temperatures for St. Patrick’s Day starting in 1998: 36, 60, 37, 39, 39, 68, 33, 35, 28, 38, 37, 71, 65, 78 and 30. There have been no 40s, no 50s…it’s been either real warm or real cold on St. Patrick’s Day in W. Michigan. The weather will be chilly, but nice for the big but short St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Conklin. Which brings me to the weather of Ireland.
Just like the wind coming off Lake Michigan moderates the climate, making the lakeshore cooler in spring/summer and warmer in winter…the same is true in Ireland. The wind off the ocean keeps the temperature fairly constant. The difference between the average high temperature in Dublin in January (45F) and July (67F) is only 22 degrees. The warmest temperature in Dublin in calendar year 2008 was just 72F (you won’t find a lot of backyard swimming pools in Ireland). The coolest temperature was 25F. This winter the lowest temperature in Dublin has been 28 (reached several times). Dublin only recorded 1/10″ of snowfall in 2008 – that coming on April 6th. There were two other days with trace amounts. The city did have 1/10″ of snow on 3/11/13 and trace amounts on the 12th and 13th. Dublin is actually 700 miles north of Grand Rapids. Despite it’s northerly location (summer daylight grows to 17 hours long in June), winters are milder due to the influence of the relatively warm Gulf Stream current.
Ireland is the 20th biggest island in the world (3rd biggest in Europe) and is just slightly smaller than South Carolina. Rainfall is frequent and mostly light. Dublin records thunder an average of only four days per year. The average high and low temperature for Dublin on 3/17 is 50/36. Yesterday (3/16/14), the high was 52. The first 16 days of March were 3.5 deg. cooler than average in 2013 and 1.4 deg. warmer than average this year.