Warmest year on record, below average rainfall
January was mild and very dry. The first third of the month saw Atlantic low-pressure systems in charge, while the final two-thirds saw high pressure to the south dominate. Storm Corrie and Malik passed close to the north of the country towards the end of the month. February was a mild, wet and windy month dominated by Atlantic low pressure systems. A powerful Jetstream steered three named storms, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, close to or over the country mid-month, bringing the windiest period of the year. March, the driest of the spring months, was dominated by high pressure to the east over mainland Europe, which brought a lot of sunshine and kept it mild. High pressure shifted to the north of Ireland during April, which continued the direr, milder and sunnier than average theme. May was a warm, relatively dry and cloudy month. High pressure dominated at times, interspersed with periods where low pressure was in charge. June was a relatively mild, Atlantic dominated month, with a mostly southerly and westerly airflow. This kept it wetter, cooler and cloudier in the West and drier, warmer and sunnier in the East. July and August saw high pressure from the Azores building over Ireland on a number of occasions, keeping it warmer and drier than average. A hot continental air mass led to a new record maximum daily temperature for July, while heatwave conditions in August brought a new record maximum daily temperature for August. The three autumn months of September, October and November were wetter than average as low pressure to the west and southwest of Ireland dominated for long periods. This kept the airflow mostly between southerly and westerly, which brought milder than average temperatures. December, the only month of the year with below average temperatures, saw a prolonged cold spell under an Arctic air mass during the first half of the month, followed by Atlantic dominance for the second half.
Rainfall: Below average at most stations
The majority of annual rainfall totals across the country were below their 1981-2010 Long-Term Average (LTA). Percentage of annual rainfall values ranged from 90% (annual rainfall total of 1068.6 mm and 1124.0 mm) at both Sherkin Island, Co Cork and Finner, Co Donegal respectively to 107% (the year’s highest annual rainfall total of 1678.7 mm) at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry. Annual rainfall totals for the year were lowest at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin with 688.2 mm (percentage of LTA 91%). The highest daily rainfall total was 54.9 mm at Cork Airport, Co Cork on Sunday 16th October (its highest daily fall since 2005). The number of rain days ranged from 183 days at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin to 273 days at Malin Head, Co Donegal. The number of wet days ranged from 125 days at both Oak Park, Co Carlow and Dublin Airport, Co Dublin to 203 days at Newport, Co Mayo. The number of very wet days ranged from 17 days at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin to 65 days at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry. It was the driest year since 2011 at both Cork Airport and Roches Point, Co Cork. There were 47 separate dry periods (absolute droughts, partial droughts and dry spells) observed in Ireland during 2022. Of these 42 were dry spells at 21 stations and 5 were absolute droughts at five stations.
Temperature: Above average everywhere, warmest year on record overall
All mean air temperatures across the country were above their annual LTA. Deviations from mean air temperature for the year ranged from 0.2°C (9.9 °C mean temperature) at Markree, Co Sligo to 1.2 °C (10.8 °C mean temperature) at Phoenix Park, Co Dublin. Mean temperatures for the year ranged from 9.5 °C (0.9 °C above its LTA) at Knock Airport, Co Mayo (its warmest year since 2007) to 11.7 °C (0.6 °C above its LTA) at Sherkin Island Co Cork (its warmest year since 2004). The year’s highest temperature was reported at Phoenix Park, Co Dublin on Monday 18th July with a temperature of 33.0 °C (the second highest temperature ever recorded in Ireland and highest since 1887). The year’s lowest air and grass minimum was recorded at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon with the lowest air temperature reported on Friday 16th December with -8.8 °C (its lowest min since 2009, lowest min in Ireland since Dec 2010) while the lowest grass minimum was -13.0 °C reported on Wednesday 14th December (its lowest grass min on record (length 17 years)). All stations reported air and ground frost during the year. The number of days with ground frost ranged from 34 days at Belmullet, Co Mayo to 153 days at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon. The number of days with air frost ranged from 2 days at Malin Head, Co Donegal to 62 days at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon. It was the warmest year on record at eight stations (record lengths between 10 and 57 years). It was the warmest year since 2007 at nine stations. Ten stations reported their highest daily maximum temperature on record, nine stations on Monday 18th July and one station on Saturday 13th August. Heatwave conditions were reported at seven stations between Tuesday 9th and Sunday 14th August lasting between 5 and 6 days. Overall, 2022’s average shaded air temperature in Ireland is provisionally 10.83°C which is 1.28°C above the 1961-1990 LTA. This makes 2022 the warmest year on record, 0.06 °C warmer than 2007 the previous warmest year.
Sunshine: Sunniest in the East
All available sunshine totals were above their Long-Term Average (LTA). Percentage of annual sunshine values ranged from 115% (annual sunshine total of 1501.0 hours) at Shannon Airport, Co Clare to 121% (annual sunshine total of 1651.3 hours) at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin (its sunniest year on record (length 54 years)). Annual sunshine totals ranged from 1274.8 hours at Belmullet, Co Mayo (No LTA comparison*) to 1713.7 hours at Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford (No LTA comparison*). The highest number of daily sunshine hours recorded this year was 16.1 hours at Malin Head, Co Donegal on Saturday 4th June. The number of dull days ranged from 65 days at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin to 94 days at Belmullet, Co Mayo.
Wind: Five named storms directly affected Ireland, violent storm force winds reported during storm Eunice
Annual mean wind speeds ranged from 5.9 knots (10.9 km/h) at Moore Park, Co Cork to 14.9 knots (27.6 km/h) at Malin Head, Co Donegal. There were numerous days with gales and strong gales with up to storm force winds on Saturday 1st January at Belmullet, Co Mayo, Friday 18th February at Roches Point, Co Cork during Storm Eunice, Sunday 20th and Monday 21st February at Malin Head, Co Donegal, Mace Head, Co Galway and Finner, Co Donegal during Storm Franklin and Wednesday 23rd November at Mace Head, Co Galway. Violent storm force winds were reported on Friday 18th February during storm Eunice at Roche’s Point, Co Cork. The number of days with up to strong gales ranged from zero days at most stations to 17 days at Mace Head, Co Galway. The number of days with storm force winds were up to 3 days at Mace Head, Co Galway. The number of days with violent storm force winds was one day at Roches Point, Co Cork. The year’s highest gust was reported at Mace Head, Co Galway on Sunday 20th February with 75 knots (139 km/h). The year’s highest 10-minute mean wind speed was 57 knots (106 km/h) at Roche’s Point, Co Cork on Friday 18th February.
The full report is available here (select ‘Year’ in drop down menu)
National Records: The all time highest maximum temperature records for July and August were broken in 2022; at the Phoenix Park on Monday 18th July (33.0°C which is 12.9°C above its 1981-2010 long-term average (LTA)) and Durrow, Co. Laois on Saturday 13th August (32.1°C).
Station records, heatwaves and ice days:
- Ten stations had their highest maximum temperature for January on record on New Year’s Day, Saturday 1st (record length ranging from between 11 and 72 years).
- Dublin Airport recorded its sunniest March on record with 203.1 hours (record length 81 years).
- Three stations had their warmest May on record. These were Phoenix Park, Co Dublin with a mean temperature of 12.9 °C (2.1 °C above its LTA) (record length 123 years), Dunsany, Co Meath with 12.2 °C (1.7 °C above its LTA)(record length 29 years) and Athenry, Co Galway with 12.3 °C (0.9 °C above its LTA) (record length 12 years). Malin Head, Co Donegal had its joint warmest May on record with 11.9 °C (1.6 °C above its LTA), tying with 2008 (record length 67 years).
- Nine stations reported their highest daily maximum temperature, for any month, on record, all on Monday 18th July. These were Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin (record length 58 years) with 31.9 °C, Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon (length 14 years) with 31.4 °C, Gurteen, Co Tipperary (length 14 years) with 31.0 °C, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan (length 17 years) with 30.8 °C, Athenry, Co Galway (length 12 years) and Dunsany, Co Meath (length 48 years) with 30.5 °C, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (length 72 years) with 30.4 °C and Dublin Airport, Co Dublin (length 80 years) with 29.6 °C. One station had its highest July daily maximum temperature on record. This was Shannon Airport, Co Clare (length 76 years) with 30.8 °C.
- Heatwaves were reported at seven stations between Tuesday 9th and Sunday 14th August lasting between 5 and 6 days. These were at Shannon Airport, Co Clare, Cork Airport, Co Cork, Phoenix Park, Co Dublin, Dunsany, Co Meath (5 days), Oak Park, Co Carlow, Moore Park, Co Cork and Casement, Co Dublin (6 days).
- Eleven stations broke their August maximum temperature record. These were Oak Park, Co Carlow with 31.7 °C (length 18 years), Shannon Airport, Co Clare with 30.0 °C (length 76 years), Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon with 29.2 °C (length 7 years), Gurteen, Co Tipperary with 28.9 °C (length 14 years), Athenry, Co Galway with 28.5 °C (length 12 years), Newport, Co Mayo with 28.5 °C (length 62 years), Cork Airport, Co Cork with 28.3 °C ( length 60 years), Markree, Co Sligo with 28.3 °C (length 17 years), Mace Head, Co Galway with 27.4 °C (length 18 years) and Finner, Co Donegal with 26.5 °C (length 11 years). One station, Moore Park, Co Cork also broke its all-time maximum temperature record in August with 30.6°C (length 35 years).
- Seven stations had their wettest October on record. These were Moore Park, Co Cork with 230.4 mm (record length 58 years), Knock Airport, Co Mayo with 217.5 mm (record length 25 years), Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon with 182.8 mm (length 18 years), Gurteen, Co Tipperary with 159.8 mm (length 14 years), Mullingar, Co Westmeath with 208.8 mm (length 72 years), Ballyhaise, Co Cavan with 205.2 (length 7 years) and Mace Head, Co Galway with 209.3 mm (length 14 years).
- Five stations had their warmest October on record (record lengths ranging between 11 and 18 years).
- Fourteen stations broke their highest daily minimum temperature record for November on Friday 11th, with a new November highest daily minimum temperature record for Ireland of 14.9°C recorded at Shannon Airport, Co Clare.
- Finner, Co Donegal had its highest maximum for November on record with 17.6°C (length 25 years)
- Eleven stations had an ICE DAY on Monday 12th December 2022 (where the maximum temperature in a day does not rise above 0.0°C), with four of those stations going on to have a second consecutive ice day on the 13th and one station, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, having a third consecutive ice day on the 14th.
- Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry had its wettest Autumn on record (record length 81 years) with 786.5 mm (167% of its LTA).
Recent Years in Ireland:
- 2016: Long-Term Average (LTA) annual rainfall values were variable, the majority of stations reported on or above their annual LTA for mean temperatures and there were eight named storms.
- 2017: Temperature and rainfall were near average, almost all available annual sunshine totals were below their LTA and there were six named storms including storm Ophelia in October.
- 2018: Temperature and Sunshine were above average in most places; it was drier than average at two-thirds of stations and there were ten named storms including storm Emma in early March.
- 2019: Above average rainfall, temperatures slightly above average, sunshine totals were variable and storm force winds were reported during several of the seven named storms.
- 2020: Above average rainfall, temperatures and sunshine values, with nine named storms.
- 2021: Above average temperatures and sunshine values with below average rainfall and there were five named storms.
Climate Change Context
Ireland’s warming trend continued in 2022, and we are warming in line with the global average. Other countries are warming at a greater rate than Ireland and the summer of 2022 saw multiple heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures across Europe and around the world. The spring and summer of 2022 were drier than average in Ireland, which had negative consequences for agriculture and wider society.
The latest Irish climate change projections indicate further warming in the future, drier summers on average and an increased chance of heatwaves and periods of drought. The Irish summer of 2022 is broadly consistent with projected future trends. While climate change projections also indicate a trend toward warmer winters, cold periods like those experienced this December cannot be ruled out in any particular year.
Keith Lambkin, the Head of Met Éireann’s Climate Services Division said: “Climate change has changed the odds of getting more frequent, more extreme heat related events. Thanks to over a century of dedicated weather observations here in Ireland, we know that 2022 brought us record-breaking extremes as well as what is likely to be the warmest year on Irish record. It is essential that we must continue to adapt to ensure our national infrastructures and planning are best suited to both current and future warming.”