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The climate of Northern Ireland
The northeastern part of Ireland is an autonomous region of the UK and is known as Northern Ireland. The country is not part of Ireland but together with England, Wales and Scotland it is a part of Great Britain. According to the Köppen climate classification Northern Ireland has a moderate maritime climate (type Cfb) with relatively mild winters, fairly warm summers and precipitation all year round. On average Northern Ireland gets about 1,000 millimeters of annual precipitation, quite evenly spread out over the year. Almost all precipitation falls in the form of rain. During the winter snowfall is not uncommon. However, because daytime temperatures are above freezing point snow rapidly melts.

The climate of Northern Ireland is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean which causes real cold to be uncommon during the winter. During the night subzero temperatures are not uncommon, especially in the hills. During the day temperatures almost always rise above freezing point. This is caused by the influence of the relatively warm sea water. The Atlantic Ocean is also responsible for air currents mainly coming from the west and northwest. Because of this zones with really cold weather coming from the European mainland only have little chance of reaching Northern Ireland.

 

Climate information of places and areas in Northern Ireland
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific information about weather and climate can be found on the climate pages per area or town. As for Northern Ireland the following climate information is available:

Bangor
Belfast
Bushmills
Lough Neagh
Londonderry
     

Mild Summers
If you are looking for a sunny destination Northern Ireland will not be your first choice. With daytime temperatures just below 20 degrees Celsius on average, night time temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius and about 5-6 hours of sunshine per day Northern Ireland is not very suitable as a sun&pool destination. Those who visit Northern Ireland will mainly do so for the atmosphere and the beautiful landscape. The climate is actually quite ideal to enjoy everything the country has to offer. Because it doesn’t get too hot the weather is ideal for exploring the country. During the summer average precipitation figures are between 60-100 millimeters per month. Rainy and grey weather for a few days in a row is not uncommon.

Precipitation
Northern Ireland gets more precipitation than the rest of Europe. Northern Ireland gets about 800-1,400 millimeters of annual precipitation. The higher areas are slightly wetter. The wettest regions get about 1,100-1,800 millimeters of annual precipitation. The largest part falls in the form of rain. Snowfall may occur when cold polar air reaches the country. Heavy hailstorms are not uncommon either.

Winter
Winters in Northern Ireland are fairly mild. Cold air from the European mainland hardly ever reaches Northern Ireland. The relatively warm sea water causes the air to slightly warm up. Subzero temperatures and snowfall only occur when a strong northerly current supplies cold polar air. When this happens during winter (from the end of November till the end of February) subzero temperatures during the day are not uncommon.

Wind
Under the influence of depressions which are supplied over the sea Northern Ireland is very windy. Especially in the higher regions in the northern part of the country fierce winds are not uncommon and chances of gale force winds are high. In the southwestern part of the country the wind can blow freely as well. During the strongest winds a force of 10-11 (heavy to hurricane like) can be recorded. Every now and then a hurricane force can be recorded (12 on the Beaufort scale). Real hurricanes caused by tropical depressions are uncommon in Northern Ireland

 

Climate figures
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate records. They are an average for Northern Ireland. The largest deviations are differences in temperatures in the higher regions in the interior. During the winter it is slightly colder here; during the summer slightly warmer.

average
 maximum
temperature (°C)

average
minimum

temperature (°C)
average
hours of sunshine

per
day
average days with precipitation
per month
average
mm
precipitation
per month
average
sea
temperature (°C)
January 6 1 2 20 8
February 7 1 2 16 7
March 9 2 3 20 7
April 11 4 5 16 8
May 14 7 6 17 10
June 17 9 6 15 12
July 18 11 5 15 14
August 19 11 5 18 15
September 16 9 4 18 14
October 13 7 3 21 13
November 9 4 2 20 12
December 7 2 1 22 10
= 0-5 mm ● = 6-30 mm ● = 31-60 mm ● = 61-100 mm ● = 101-200 mm ● = over 200 mm

More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time. How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate information per month. The figures below are for the larger part of Northern Ireland. However, local deviations may occur. Chances of long lasting rain and chances of wintry weather are higher in the higher regions than shown in the figures below.
 

chance of
(very) hot

weather

chance of
(very) cool
weather
chance of
long-term

precipitation
chance of
hurricanes
(cyclones)
chance of
sunny days

UV-index

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
click here for the explanation of the symbols

 

Disclaimer
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.

 

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