Climate of Northern Ireland
The northeastern part of the island of Ireland does not belong to the country of Ireland, but – like England, Scotland and Wales – to the United Kingdom. According to the Köppen climate classification Northern Ireland has a moderate maritime climate (types Cfb), with relatively mild winters, moderately warm summers and precipitation throughout the year. On average, Northern Ireland receives about a thousand millimeters of precipitation per year, spread fairly evenly over the year. Almost everything falls in the form of rain. Snow can occur in the winter months, but it rarely lasts for long periods of time. Daytime temperatures are almost always too high for that. Northern Ireland is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, which means that real freezing temperatures in the winter months have little chance. At night the temperature can drop below freezing, especially in the hills. During the day, the mercury almost always reaches values above freezing. Northern Ireland owes this to the influence of the relatively warm seawater, which cools it less than if it were somewhere inland. The Atlantic Ocean also means that air currents mainly come from westerly and north-westerly directions, making serious zones of cold weather from mainland Europe little chance of reaching Northern Ireland.
If you’re looking for a holiday in the sun, you won’t find yourself in Northern Ireland in a hurry. With daytime temperatures that average just below twenty degrees, nighttime temperatures of around ten degrees and an average of five to six hours of sunshine per day, it is not an ideal sun and pool destination. Whoever visits Northern Ireland will do so mainly for the atmosphere and nature. Summers are actually quite pleasant to enjoy all that Northern Ireland has to offer: because it doesn’t get too hot, it’s ideal weather for getting out and about. The amount of precipitation in summer is on average between 60 and 100 millimeters per month, which is comparable to the Dutch amounts. The difference is the way the rain falls,
Northern Ireland has slightly more precipitation than the average in Europe. Northern Ireland receives about 800 to 1400 millimeters of precipitation per year. The higher areas are slightly wetter, here the average amounts range from 1100 to about 1800 millimeters in the wettest places. Most of the precipitation falls in the form of rain. Sometimes it snows and under the influence of cold arctic air there can sometimes also be heavy hailstorms.
The winters in Northern Ireland are fairly mild. Cold from mainland Europe rarely reaches Northern Ireland and the relatively warm seawater creates a slightly warming effect from the air. Frost and snow mainly occur when there is a strong northerly current, so that polar air has a considerable cooling effect. In such conditions, during the winter, which runs from late November to late February in Northern Ireland, there can also be daytime frost.
Under the influence of depressions that are brought in by sea, Northern Ireland suffers a lot from wind. Especially in the higher areas in the north there is often a stormy wind and the chance of storms is also high. Another place where the wind has regular free reign is the south west of Northern Ireland. In the worst storms, the wind force can reach force 10 or 11 (heavy to hurricane-like), occasionally even hurricane force (wind force 12) is measured. Real hurricanes that arise from tropical depressions never really occur in Northern Ireland.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Northern Ireland
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Northern Ireland? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. Northern Ireland occupies the northeastern part of the island of Ireland. The rest of the island consists of the country of Ireland. Northern Ireland is a country within the United Kingdom. Its location within the British Isles ensures that Northern Ireland has a temperate maritime climate. Characteristic are the fairly mild and gray winters and the mild relatively wet summers. Because depressions can be transported across the Atlantic in fairly rapid succession, you often see a rapid alternation of sun and clouds in Northern Ireland. Clouds are often accompanied by rain. Many days are changeable in Northern Ireland. The number of days with clear blue skies are quite rare, as are windless days. The wind can blow from all corners, but it is almost always noticeable, especially on the coastal areas.
The best time to travel for a holiday in Northern Ireland is from June to August. This is the summer period when the highest temperatures are measured. True summer, with temperatures reaching at least 25 degrees Celsius, is not very common in Northern Ireland. That is why this country is rarely booked for a sun holiday. It is mainly round trips, active holidays, cultural trips and city trips that are booked to Northern Ireland.
Throughout the year there is a chance of a rain shower or a rainy day. In the summer there are more showers, while in the rather gloomy winter months it happens more often that there is a rainy gray day. Anyone who goes out to nature should be well prepared for the chance of a change in the weather. A raincoat, umbrella and good waterproof shoes are essentials to pack for a holiday in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is a crappy winter sports destination. It can sometimes snow in the winter, especially inland, but Northern Ireland has no ski areas. Even in the highest regions of Northern Ireland (around a thousand meters above sea level) there are no ski slopes.