Autumn rainfall below average

It got off to a dream start with a blast of September sunshine drawing crowds to the beaches in the east, and indeed Autumn 2013 performed fairly well throughout.

Autumn rainfall below average

A Met Éireann analysis of the elements found rainfall was below average everywhere with most weather stations reporting their driest autumn since 2007.

Nationwide, Belmullet, Co Mayo, took the honours recording its driest autumn in 20 years and its lowest autumn maximum daily rainfall since records began in 1956 on Sept 4.

September temperatures were temperate and even soared into the 20s for one glorious weekend from the 21st to the 23rd, with Oak Park in Carlow recording its highest maximum for autumn since 2007.

The lowest minimum temperatures were much more recent, mainly recorded between Nov 22 and 23, hitting -5.7°C at Gurteen, Co Tipperary.

Sunshine levels were below the long-term average, a little surprising given reports last week attributing the fact that many trees still retain their leaves to good levels of sunshine, aiding sugar production.

The highest daily sunshine amount for autumn was at Shannon Airport on Sept 3 with 12.2 hours, its highest in six years, followed by Cork Airport which recorded its highest daily sunshine for autumn since 1976.

November saw less rainfall then usual, with the exception of Malin Head, Co Donegal. Some stations in the East and Midlands reported their driest November in quarter of a century.

Knock Airport had it driest November in 16 years while Dublin Airport reported its lowest maximum daily rainfall since 1942.

Temperatures for November were below average. The highest maximum temperature was at Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, on Nov 11 at 15.6C.

Sunshine totals were near or above average in most places with the exception of Valentia Observatory and Shannon Airport.

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