The climate of Northern Ireland
The northeastern part of Ireland is an autonomous region of the UK and
is known as Northern Ireland. The country is not part of Ireland but
together with England, Wales and Scotland it is a part of Great
Britain. According to the Köppen climate classification Northern
Ireland has a moderate maritime climate (type Cfb) with relatively
mild winters, fairly warm summers and precipitation all year round. On
average Northern Ireland gets about 1,000 millimeters of annual
precipitation, quite evenly spread out over the year. Almost all
precipitation falls in the form of rain. During the winter snowfall is
not uncommon. However, because daytime temperatures are above freezing
point snow rapidly melts.
The climate of Northern Ireland is strongly influenced
by the Atlantic Ocean which causes real cold to be uncommon during the
winter. During the night subzero temperatures are not uncommon,
especially in the hills. During the day temperatures almost always
rise above freezing point. This is caused by the influence of the
relatively warm sea water. The Atlantic Ocean is also responsible for
air currents mainly coming from the west and northwest. Because of
this zones with really cold weather coming from the European mainland
only have little chance of reaching Northern Ireland.
Climate information of places and areas in Northern Ireland
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for Northern Ireland the following climate
information is available:
If you are looking for a sunny destination Northern Ireland will
not be your first choice. With daytime temperatures just below 20
degrees Celsius on average, night time temperatures around 10 degrees
Celsius and about 5-6 hours of sunshine per day Northern Ireland is
not very suitable as a sun&pool destination. Those who visit Northern
Ireland will mainly do so for the atmosphere and the beautiful
landscape. The climate is actually quite ideal to enjoy everything the
country has to offer. Because it doesn’t get too hot the weather is
ideal for exploring the country. During the summer average
precipitation figures are between 60-100 millimeters per month. Rainy
and grey weather for a few days in a row is not uncommon.
Northern Ireland gets more precipitation than the rest of Europe.
Northern Ireland gets about 800-1,400 millimeters of annual
precipitation. The higher areas are slightly wetter. The wettest
regions get about 1,100-1,800 millimeters of annual precipitation. The
largest part falls in the form of rain. Snowfall may occur when cold
polar air reaches the country. Heavy hailstorms are not uncommon
Winters in Northern Ireland are fairly mild. Cold air from the
European mainland hardly ever reaches Northern Ireland. The relatively
warm sea water causes the air to slightly warm up. Subzero
temperatures and snowfall only occur when a strong northerly current
supplies cold polar air. When this happens during winter (from the end
of November till the end of February) subzero temperatures during the
day are not uncommon.
Under the influence of depressions which are supplied over the sea
Northern Ireland is very windy. Especially in the higher regions in
the northern part of the country fierce winds are not uncommon and
chances of gale force winds are high. In the southwestern part of the
country the wind can blow freely as well. During the strongest winds a
force of 10-11 (heavy to hurricane like) can be recorded. Every now
and then a hurricane force can be recorded (12 on the Beaufort scale).
Real hurricanes caused by tropical depressions are uncommon in
The figures below are based on long term weather and climate
records. They are an average for Northern Ireland. The largest
deviations are differences in temperatures in the higher regions in
the interior. During the winter it is slightly colder here; during the
summer slightly warmer.
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The figures below are for the larger part of
Northern Ireland. However, local deviations may occur. Chances of long
lasting rain and chances of wintry weather are higher in the higher
regions than shown in the figures below.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.