2023 is on track to be the warmest and one of the wettest years for Ireland
Issued Wednesday 29 November 2023
2023 is turning out to be an extraordinary climatological year globally with climate change driving a surge in extreme weather events and record high temperatures. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) will release their ‘Provisional State of the Global Climate 2023’ report tomorrow and have already stated in previous reports that it is almost certain that 2023 will be the warmest year on record globally.
In Ireland, we are on track to see the second consecutive warmest year on record with the potential for the annual mean temperature for Ireland to breach 11 °C for the first time. We are also seeing one of the wettest years on record in Ireland with the annual average rainfall total already in the top 20 wettest years with over a month to go.
- This year, Ireland had its warmest January-November on record so far and is on track to have the warmest year on record for the second year running. Currently, 2022 is the warmest year on record in Ireland, with a record length going back to 1900 (124 years).
- The wettest year on record in Ireland was in 2009, with the record stretching back to 1941 (83 years). So far, 2023 has been Ireland’s second wettest January-October on record.
What could potentially happen for Ireland in 2023 with just over one month remaining?
- If the mean temperature for November remains above 8 °C and the December mean temperature finishes above 6 °C, it will likely be the warmest year on record.
- If the average gridded rainfall for December finishes roughly 40 % above its 1981-2010 long term average (LTA), it may also be the wettest year on record (this analysis is less certain and subject to change when all station rainfall observations are incorporated).
Met Éireann Head of Climate Services Keith Lambkin says “Ireland has seen a remarkable year with rainfall and warming at unprecedented levels at times. These record-breaking extremes have knock-on consequences to much of society. This is why Met Éireann are continually developing tailored climate information, with our many partners, to help Ireland better plan and adapt to our changing climate.”
Rainfall – Provisional data from our gridded dataset back to 1941 suggests:
- March 2023 was the wettest March on record.
- July 2023 was the wettest July on record.
- January to October 2023 (inclusive) was the second wettest January to October on record.
Temperature – Provisional Island of Ireland 1900-2023 temperature (°C) anomalies suggests:
- February 2023 was the fifth warmest February on record.
- May 2023 was the second warmest May on record.
- Spring 2023 was third warmest spring on record.
- June 2023 was the warmest June on record.
- Summer 2023 was the fifth warmest summer on record.
- September 2023 was third warmest September on record.
- January to October 2023 (inclusive) was the warmest January to October on record.
One contributing factor to Ireland having such a warm and wet 2023 so far is the record high sea surface temperatures (SST) across the North Atlantic since April. Along with this came a severe marine heatwave to the west of Ireland during the month of June. This contributed to the increase in both the mean temperatures and moisture content in the atmosphere over Ireland.
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