New year weather off to a mild start

With the first few days of the new year being described as “perfect sales-shopping weather”, there seems to be no end in sight to the mild weather.

The dry, bright, weather meant Christmas was ideal for brisk walks as there had been little or no rain and temperatures were pleasant.

It was a dry and super mild Christmas for much of the country, according to Met Éireann.

At no point was there any serious likelihood of snowfall and a top temperature of 10C was recorded at Valentia weather station in Kerry on Christmas Day

Cork City, parts of Dublin, the Midlands and the south had their warmest December in five years.

Temperatures recorded at Cork Airport showed an average temperature of 6.5C while the highest temperatures in the country were in the east, midlands and south-west which all had their highest temperatures since 2007.

The Met Éireann stations of Phoenix Park and Casement Aerodrome recorded their driest December in 11 years.

This was in sharp contrast to Britain where flooding wreaked havoc along the south-west and stretches along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent, along with Wales and northern Scotland.

In Devon and Cornwall, 245 properties flooded over one weekend, forcing a number of evacuations.

In the west of Ireland, rainfall was above average last month while the midlands, east and north all had less rain than other years.

Sunshine was near or above average at Cork Airport and at Dublin stations, with Valentia Observatory recording the least sunshine at under two-thirds of its average for December. There was just 24.9 hours of sunshine at the Co Kerry station. But while it may have been largely dry, it was also a windy month.

At the end of the month, winds were strong to gale force at times. Parts of the country recorded their highest December gusts in five to 15 years.

Westerly and south-westerly winds of force six or higher led to a warning from Met Éireann about the use of small crafts at sea, and gusts of more than 40 knots were recorded on parts of the western seaboard at the end of last week.

According to Met Éireann, the outlook is good for the rest of week and over the weekend.

The weather will be mild and mostly cloudy. Daytime temperatures will mostly range from about 10C to 13C.

Most of the nights will be frost free.

Thursday night and Friday will be mostly dry. However, patches of mist, fog and drizzle will affect coastal areas of Munster, Connacht and Ulster. Winds will be moderate to fresh, south to southwesterly.

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War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

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Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence