As freezing temperatures prevail, Ireland had warmest January in ten years
Published 01/02/2012 | 12:48
January brought the warmest new year for five to 10 years in almost every part of the country, Met Eireann has revealed.
Meteorologists said stations in the south west enjoyed the biggest above average spell since 2002 while others in the midlands and west were the warmest since 2007.
The highest temperature of 13.1C (55.6F) was recorded at Shannon Airport on January 3.
As a result of the milder than normal start to the year most weather stations have reported very few frosty mornings with only up to four recorded.
In Belmullet, Co Mayo, a minimum grass temperature of minus 2.2C (28F) was recorded during January, its highest level since 1983, and there were only four frosty days compared with an average of 11.
Rainfall was above average almost everywhere, Met Eireann said, except for stations in the south where Roche's Point and Johnstown Castle got about two-thirds of their average.
With rainy days up, the amount of sunshine was down - by 50% at Valentia off Kerry.
Met Eireann said the mild temperatures gave way in the last week as a Siberian air mass moved east over Europe. Temperatures became cooler and more air frosts were reported for what is generally the coldest time of year.