Monday, March 31, 2008

Why Ireland is so rainy and windy?

The dominant influence on Ireland's climate is the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, Ireland does not suffer from the extremes of temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitude.

Average annual temperature is about 9 °C. In the middle and east of the country temperatures tend to be somewhat more extreme than in other parts of the country. For example, summer mean daily maximum is about 19 °C and winter mean daily minimum is about 2.5 °C in these areas.

Mean annual windspeed varies between about 4 m/sec in the east midlands and 7 m/sec in the northwest. Strong winds tend to be more frequent in winter than in summer. Sunshine duration is highest in the southeast of the country. Average rainfall varies between about 800 and 2,800mm.

With southwesterly winds from the Atlantic dominating, rainfall figures are highest in the northwest, west and southwest of the country, especially over the higher ground. Rainfall accumulation tends to be highest in winter and lowest in early summer.

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