Costa del Cork: Rebel county was Ireland's sunniest during August

The weather station at Cork Airport recorded an overall monthly total of 164.3 hours of sunshine in August
Costa del Cork: Rebel county was Ireland's sunniest during August

Sunshine at the Front Strand, Youghal, Co Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane

When the sun decides to come out down south, Corkonians have a tendency to lovingly refer to their home county as the 'Costa del Cork'.

Now, at least for the time being, it seems there is some official evidence to back that up, as Cork was officially the county with the highest levels of sunshine last month, according to a new report from Met Éireann.

The forecaster’s Climate Statement for August 2021 ranked measurements recorded at each of the country’s weather stations in four separate categories: Sunshine; Temperature; Wind; and Rainfall.

Sunshine

The weather station at Cork Airport recorded an overall monthly total of 164.3 hours of sunshine in August – a mean average of 5.3 hours each day – the highest in Ireland.

The least sunny spot in Ireland was in Co Tipperary, where the weather station at Gurteen saw a monthly total of 112.6 hours of sunshine – a daily mean of 3.63 hours each day.

A weather station in Co Mayo recorded the highest one-day total, when 13.4 hours of sunshine were recorded in Belmullet on Tuesday, August 24.

Temperature

As regards temperature, the highest mean monthly temperature for August – 16.4C – was found at at Newport, Co Mayo.

The lowest – 14.4C – was found at Malin Head in Donegal.

The month’s highest air temperature was recorded at the weather station in Athenry, Co Galway, on Thursday, August 26; the lowest temperature of the month was recorded at Mount Dillon in Roscommon on Monday, August 2.

The Mount Dillon station was the only one in the country to record ground frost this month.

Rainfall 

For analysing rainfall, Met Éireann measures each station’s monthly total in millimetres, and compares that to each location’s long-term average (LTA) – calculated by averaging each location’s monthly total from 1981 to 2010.

Markree in Co Sligo saw the highest monthly rainfall in August, with 176mm recorded, 173% of its LTA.

The lowest monthly total – 47.3mm – was recorded at Casement Aerodrome in Dublin, equivalent to just 63% of its LTA.

On Thursday, August 5, 71.1mm of rainfall fell in Mullingar, Co Westmeath – the highest daily total ever recorded for the month of August.

This day alone accounted for 83% of Mullingar’s monthly LTA.

Wind 

Monthly mean wind speeds ranged from 4.3 knots (8.0 km/h) at Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, to 10.9 knots (20.2 km/h) at Mace Head, Co Galway.

The only gale force winds noted during August occurred at Mace Head in Galway and Belmullet in Co Mayo.

There were no strong gales or storms reported during the month.

Both the month's highest gust – 51 knots (95 km/h) – and the highest 10-minute mean wind speed – 37 knots (69 km/h) – were reported at Belmullet, Co Mayo, on Thursday, August 12.

Overall, Met Éireann said August started off and ended dry, and the weather was “mild and changeable" throughout. 

Have two words ever encapsulated Ireland's summer weather so well? 

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