Irish WEATHER: is it as BAD as they say?

Ireland is often perceived as a country with notoriously dreadful weather, but is it really as bad as they say?

Irish weather: is it as bad as they say?

There’s a famous lit-up sign in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter outside The Duke of York pub that reads, “There’s only seven types of rain Belfast: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…”

This alludes to the idea that the weather in Belfast, and therefore – as Ireland is a small country – the rest of the island, is constantly terrible. However, we are here to discuss if it’s really as bad as they say.

Irish weather – is it as bad as they say?

A neon sign lit up on Commercial Court, outside the Duke of York pub.
Credit: Instagram/ @social_stephen

It’s true that the weather in Ireland is hit or miss. It’s unpredictable, and that’s a fact. Sometimes, if the forecast predicts a dry day, you might be hit with a random shower or two, and that’s just the norm in Ireland.

However, generally, Ireland is known for having pretty mild to warm summers and mild to cold winters. We never really experience extreme highs and lows in temperature throughout the year.

In the summer, we don’t get glorious sunshine for days on end, but that’s not to say we don’t get a run of days somewhere during the season where the sun actually does come out to play for a few days at a time!

Then, in the winter, we never really experience extreme lows in temperature.

Of course, we verge into the minus number in the colder months, around Christmastime, but aside from the inconvenience of icy roads and cars that aren’t equipped for it, our winters have nothing on other countries around the world.

Rain in Ireland – an enduring stereotype about Ireland

Heavy rainfall landing in a puddle. Irish weather: is it as bad as they say?

When many people picture Ireland, they think of rolling green fields. Well, you can thank the consistency of the rain for that!

When it comes to rain in Ireland, we can’t deny the stereotype. It rains a lot here. Of course, this differs depending on where you are in the country.

According to Wikipedia, the average number of “wet days” ranges between around 151 days a year along the east and southeast coasts to about 225 days a year in parts of the west and the northwest of Ireland.

So, ranging between around half the year to around two-thirds of the year, depending on where you live in Ireland.

We can’t deny that when it rains in Ireland, it can be absolutely miserable. Sometimes, when the rain doesn’t stop for days on end, it can put an overall depressing doom cloud, literally, across the nation.

One of the worst bouts of rain was back in 2007 when Met Éireann revealed what locals already knew, and that was that there were 49 consecutive days of rainfall in Dublin and the surrounding area, and that was in the summer, no less!

Four seasons in a day – it’s like that sometimes

The consistent bouts of rain are an anomaly in Ireland. If you’re planning on visiting, you might experience a day or two of heavy rain or, more commonly, a rain shower that dissipates almost as soon as it starts.

Here in Ireland, we like to say, “You often get all four seasons in a day”, and it’s true! Well, sort of. You won’t find it snowing one second and blistering heat the next.

However, it is pretty common for the sun to be splitting the trees one minute to the next, finding people running for cover as the heavens have opened up and poured down.

Microclimates – dotted around the country

The sun shining on a clear day.
Credit: Flickr/ Skeyndor

While much of the country is affected by poor weather, there are actually some particularly sunny parts of the country that are said to have their own microclimates.

For example, West Cork and counties Waterford and Wexford are known to enjoy some of the best weather the country experiences.

On the other hand, Kilkenny has a rainy microclimate as it’s said to receive over 20% more rain than the lowlands of the country. Mountainous areas, in general, are the areas that receive the most rainfall, like Kerry, Galway, and Donegal.

As for rainbows, the stereotype of Ireland and rainbows is definitely true. We see them all the time thanks to the “four seasons in a day”. It is believed that areas of the north and the west receive the best and most vibrant rainbows.

So, there you have it. Irish weather: is it as bad as they say? We think not. Ireland has some days where the weather is lush and unforgettable. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t rain or get cold, wet, and a little miserable from time to time!

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