Third warmest May in 123 years

Issue date: Wednesday 1 June 2022

Nearly 450,000 daily (09-09 UTC) observations of temperatures were processed in order to complete this Island of Ireland Temperature dataset for each month and season over nearly 123 years (January 1900 to May 2022). The stations used in this analysis are Birr Castle/Gurteen, Phoenix Park, Malin Head, Valentia Observatory and Armagh Observatory (data courtesy of the Met Office, UK and Armagh Observatory).

Provisionally May 2022 3rd warmest May in 123 years for Ireland
Provisionally Warmest May on record at Phoenix Park and Malin Head
Provisionally Spring 2022 joint 6th warmest in 123 years for Ireland

May 2022
After an exceptionally cold May 2021 (17th coldest), May 2022 was provisionally Ireland’s 3rd warmest on record. The average temperature being 12.6°C, which is 1.9°C above May’s 20th century average (1901-2000) and 1.3°C above the 1991-2020 average. The warmest May remains with 2008 at 13.0°C, while the coldest May occurred in 1923 at 8.7°C. This warm May was mainly due to higher than usual overnight temperatures.

  • Of the top 10 warmest Mays on record, half have occurred since (and including) 2008.
  • Of the twelve decadal averages available, the most recent decadal average for May 2013-2022 inclusive, was the warmest on record with 11.5°C.
  • Of the six 30-year averages available, the most recent for May 1993-2022 inclusive, was the warmest with 11.3°C.

Table 1. Warmest Mays on record (1900-2022 inclusive) together with ranking and anomalies with respect to the various time period averages

Phoenix Park*, Co Dublin observed its warmest May in 123 years, at 13.1°C, which is 2.6°C above its 20th century average (10.5°C) and nearly 1.6°C above its 1991-2020 average (11.5°C). The previous warmest being May 2017 with 13.0°C.

Malin Head*, Co Donegal also its warmest May in 123 years, at just under 12.1°C, which was 2.1°C above its 20th century average (10.0°C) and 1.4°C above its 1991-2020 average (10.7°C).

* Daily at the long-term stations means daily minimum and maximum taken from 09 UTC day of record to 09 UTC day following. This fits into the long-term records, as stations measure at 09 UTC.

Why was May 2022 so different from May 2021
During May 2021, Ireland lay on the cooler northern side of the jet stream for most of the month, with persistent and slow moving troughs of low-pressure leading to above average rainfall in mostly cyclonic airflows. By contrast, May 2022 saw Ireland positioned on the warmer southern side of the jet stream, with mostly southerly and westerly airflows. The air has been advecting over above average sea surface temperatures to the south and west of Ireland in the Atlantic. This has led to a relatively cloudy month with below average rainfall and above average temperatures.

Spring 2022
Spring 2022 is the joint (together with Spring 1997) 6th warmest on record at 9.8°C. This value is 1.3°C above its 20th century average (8.4°C) and nearly 0.7°C above its 1991-2020 average (9.1°C).

Table 2. Warmest Springs on record (1900-2022 inclusive) together with ranking and anomalies with respect to the various time period averages

Provisional May 2022 statement publication date: Thursday 2 June 2022 
Provisional Spring 2022 statement publication date: Friday 3 June 2022 

The highest temperature so far in 2022, was observed during May 2022 at Shannon Airport, Co. Clare with 21.1 °C on Sat 28 May 2022. During the second quarter, Ireland lay in an unstable, south to southwest airflow, between low pressure of 977 hPa in the mid North Atlantic and high pressure of 1020 hPa centred in the Bay of Biscay. This resulted in temperatures to reach above 20°C in places with some showery conditions.  For more information on this and other elements, please see the May 2022 statement which is due to be published on Thursday 2 June 2022 and will be available at

Climate Services, Research & Applications Division
Met Éireann (2022)

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For information on the Long Term Island of Ireland Temperatures Series dataset, please check out