Ireland's weather

Not too hot and not too cold – you'll find Ireland's climate just right

Connemara, County Galway
Connemara, County Galway

In Ireland, everyone talks about the weather. Whether it's discussing the direction of the rain from a supermarket doorway, or musing that it's 75°F in March from a bar counter.

Irish weather can be unpredictable, so we like to discuss it. A lot.

Ireland's climate is influenced most by the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, it doesn’t have the extreme temperatures that other countries at similar latitude would have. The average temperature is a mild 50°F.

A major warm ocean current called the North Atlantic Drift keeps sea temperatures mild too. Hills and mountains, mainly around the coast, shelter the rest of the island from strong winds coming off the ocean.

So while the weather can be changeable – it's rarely extreme.

The seasons: spring and summer

In spring (February to April), the average highest temperatures range from 46 to 54°F, with April considered particularly pleasant. In summer (May to July), the averages for highest temperatures are between 64 and 68°F.

The warmest months, July and August, get about 18 hours of daylight and it gets dark only after 11pm. Hence the well-worn phrase in Ireland; "sure there's a grand stretch in the evenings".

 

The seasons: autumn and winter

In autumn, (August to October) highest temperatures hit between 64 and 57°F. September is considered a mild, temperate month.

Winter air temperatures inland normally reach 46°F, while the coldest months are January and February. The temperature drops below freezing intermittently, and apart from a few freak cold snaps, snow is scarce.

When to visit Ireland

There's no such thing as a perfect time to visit Ireland. The summer months are considered high season for visitors. They come for the long sunny evenings, parks in full bloom and eating al fresco in cafés. And of course in summer, there are festivals around every corner.

Autumn and spring are mid-seasons for travelers. You'll enjoy kicking bronze-burnished leaves about in autumn, while spring sees nature kick into gear and flowers blossom. As for winter, a walk through a national park on a clear, crisp winter's day can mean seeing nature at its most impressive.

A weather-friendly wardrobe

Wondering what to bring? You'll need to be adaptable. so go for layers that you can put on or take off as the temperature changes. Bring a sweater, even in summer; waterproofs to accompany all outdoor activities; sunglasses; comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella.

Don't be fooled into thinking you won't need sunscreen in the summer months – when the sun shines in Ireland it's quite strong, so wear a high factor and bring a sunhat. Short-term forecasts are viewable at Met Éireann.

Okay, it does rain in Ireland, but long bouts of rain are pretty rare. So, you can either put on suitable clothes, or duck into a nice cosy pub to wait out the shower. You can imagine which one is our favourite strategy.