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What is the best time to visit Ireland ? - The charm of Ireland's changing weather

The weather is one of the most popular topics of conversation in Ireland. We’re not unique in this of course, but we have our own lexicon to describe different climatic occurrences; ‘a soft day’; ‘that’s a changeable one’ (often used euphemistically); ‘a hardy one’, ‘that turned into a grand day’… and many more.

We like to analyse, predict, and often condemn the conditions. The weather can be a great ice-breaker in conversation, something to find agreement on before more serious business is begun.

Visiting the Burren on a private tour of Ireland
Watching the changing skies at the Burren National Park...

Our climate can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable, but without temperature extremes. You can, if you’re lucky, experience all four seasons in the one day.

Cliffs of Moher Day Tour
A typical day at the Cliffs of Moher...

There’s fact and fiction concerning our weather. So some facts from Met Éireann: The wettest place in Ireland is the area of the Maamturk and Partree Mountains between the counties Mayo and Galway, they get 2400 mm (94 inches) of rain. The driest place in Ireland is Dublin city which receives about 800 mm (31 inches) of rain a year. Valentia Island in Co Kerry is the warmest spot in Ireland with an average annual temperature of 10.9 ºC. On the downside, it also gets a lot of rain – almost twice as much as Dublin City annually.

Enjoying sunsets on a custom tour of Ireland.
Sunset over Killary Fjord

Enjoy sunset on a private tour of Northern Ireland
Sunset along the North East Coast, Northern Ireland

There is a universal belief that it always rains in Ireland, but the truth is it doesn’t – not quite. If we take one of Ireland’s meteorological stations, Athenry in Co Galway, its lowest monthly rainfall in May, with 46mm (less than 2 inches). That said, it had a whopping 297mm (almost 12 inches) in August. So it varies.

Enjoying the Wild Atlantic Way on a private tour Ireland.
The Wild Atlantic Way at its best...

But enough statistics. The truth is we have forty shades of grey as well as forty shades of green in Ireland. And we can’t have that green grass without plenty of moisture?

Change is part of the drama of weather. An overcast day with rain can change to glory in a matter of half an hour. And this happens so often. On continental Europe, azure skies can descend for what can seem like months on end. Ireland is different; we live with unpredictability. We thrive on it.