Climate Statement for February 2021
Mild overall, wet, especially in the South
The first week of February was dominated by a slow moving area of low pressure, which pushed in from the west against a cold block to the northeast over Scandinavia. This brought widespread frontal rain during the first half of the week, followed by showery conditions as the low pressure stalled over Ireland and filled, eventually moving away to the south. This allowed a cold easterly airflow to become established over Ireland for much of the second week. A low pressure system over the Netherlands, storm Darcy (named by the Dutch Met Service, KNMI), helped to enhance the easterly flow, which brought wintry showers to windward facing coasts of the east, South and North, penetrating inland at times with lying snow in places. Towards the end of the second week, several Atlantic weather fronts pushed in from the southwest against the cold air mass over Ireland, strengthening the winds and bringing widespread falls of rain, sleet and snow, with lying snow in places. A milder southerly airflow took over for most of the second half of the month with low pressure to the west of Ireland. This brought bands of frontal rain or showers on most days from the south and southwest, with widespread heavy rain on the 17th, 19th and 23rd. The bulk of the rain fell in the southern half of the country with flooding in places. The month finished dry and settled with plenty of sunshine as high pres-sure built from the south and dominated the final few days of the month.
Rainfall: Above average everywhere, highest in the South
All rainfall totals were above their Long-Term Average (LTA) for the month. Percentage of monthly rainfall values ranged from 101% (monthly rainfall total of 96.1 mm) at Finner, Co Donegal to 241% (the month’s highest rainfall total of 235.9 mm) at Cork Airport, Co Cork. Monthly rainfall totals were lowest at Dub-lin Airport, Co Dublin with 55.1 mm (113% of its LTA). The highest daily rainfall total was 38.0 mm at Moore Park, Co Cork on Tuesday 23rd (its highest daily fall for February since 2007). The number of rain days ranged from 17 days at Malin Head, Co Donegal to 25 days at both Roche’s Point, Co Cork and Cork Air-port, Co Cork. The number of wet days1 ranged from 13 days at a few stations to 20 days at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry. The number of very wet days3 ranged from 1 day at Mace Head, Co Galway to 10 days at both Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry and Cork Airport., Co Cork.
Temperature: Cool first half, mild second half
Nearly all mean air temperatures were above their Long-Term Average (LTA) for the month. Deviations from mean air temperature ranged from -0.1 °C (6.6 °C mean temperature) at Mace Head, Co Galway to 1.3 °C (6.6 °C mean temperature) at Phoenix Park, Co Dublin. Mean temperatures for the month ranged from 4.8 °C (0.5 °C above its LTA) at Knock Airport, Co Mayo to 7.8 °C (0.5 °C above its LTA) at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry. The month’s highest tem-perature was reported at Phoenix Park, Co Dublin on Tuesday 23rd with a temperature of 14.6 °C. Both the month’s lowest air and grass minimum tempera-ture were recorded on Wednesday 10th Feb at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon. The lowest air minimum was -4.2 °C while the lowest grass minimum was -10.3 °C. More than half of stations reported ground frost. The number of days with ground frost ranged from zero days at Sherkin Island, Co Cork to 15 days at Markree, Co Sligo. More than half of stations reported air frost. The number of days with air frost ranged from zero days at Sherkin Island, Co Cork to 7 days at both Mullingar, Co Westmeath and Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon.
Sunshine: Highest in the Northwest
Percentage of Long-Term Average (LTA) sunshine values were variable across the country. Percentage of monthly sunshine values ranged from 97% (monthly sunshine total of 67.2 hours) at Cork Airport, Co Cork to 115% (monthly sunshine total of 81.4 hours) at Casement Aerodrome, Co Dublin. Monthly sunshine totals ranged from 50.1 hours (No LTA comparison*) at Valentia Observatory, Co Kerry to 82.7 hours (No LTA comparison*) at Belmullet, Co Mayo. The highest number of daily sunshine hours recorded this month was 10.2 hours at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin on Sun 28th (its highest daily sunshine for February on record (record length 78 years)). The number of dull days2 ranged from 9 days at both Malin Head, Co Donegal and Belmullet, Co Mayo to 14 days at Gurteen, Co Tipperary, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford and Cork Airport, Co Cork.
Wind: Storm force winds reported
Monthly mean wind speeds ranged from 8.6 knots (15.9 km/h) at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon to 21.0 knots (38.9 km/h) at Malin Head, Co Donegal. Gales were reported on numerous days with up to strong gales reported on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 23rd. Storm force winds were reported on Sunday 14th at Belmullet, Co Mayo. The number of days with gales ranged from zero days at Dublin Airport, Co Dublin to 9 days at both Roche’s Point, Co Cork and Malin Head, Co Donegal. The number of days with up to strong gales ranged from zero days at a mot stations to 3 days at Belmullet, Co Mayo. Both the month’s highest gust and 10-minute mean wind speed were reported at Belmullet, Co Mayo on Sunday 14th. The highest gust was 68 knots (126 km/h) while the month’s highest 10-minute mean wind speed was 51 knots (95 km/h). Cork Airport, Co Cork had its highest February mean wind speed since 1997 with 13.8 knots (25.6 km/h).
The full statement is available here