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Winter 2009 / 2010 , Floods at first & then the Freeze

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February Weather Summary - Coldest February Since 1986 and the Coldest Winter for Almost 50 Years

01 March 2010

Coldest February since 1986; drier than normal almost everywhere, very sunny in west and south

February was the third successive month with mean temperatures well below normal. After a relatively mild start, the weather pattern reverted to that of much of the previous winter months, with an airstream of Arctic origin bringing widespread frosts and spells of sleet or snow at times. Mean air temperatures this month were around two degrees below normal and it was the coldest February everywhere since 1986. Mean minimum temperatures of between -1°C and +2°C were between two and three degrees below normal and they were the lowest for February in some places for over 40 years. Air frost was very frequent from the 9th onwards and was severe at times; there were between 17 and 21 air frosts during the month at inland stations compared with the normal range for February in these areas of between five and nine.

Coldest winter for almost 50 years; drier, sunnier than normal almost everywhere

Mean air temperatures for the season were around two degrees lower than average for the 1961-90 period and it was the coldest winter since 1962/3 everywhere. The season began with relatively mild weather, but each of the winter months was colder than normal. The season’s lowest temperatures were measured in the periods December 24th to 25th and January 7th to 9th, when air temperatures fell below -10°C in places and several stations recorded their lowest winter values for more than 20 years. An air temperature of -16.3°C on January 7th at the climatological station of Mount Juliet, Co. Kilkenny, was the lowest such value measured in the country since January 1979. There was a total of between 70 and 80 ground frosts during the season at inland stations, while Valentia Observatory’s total of 62 ground frosts was almost three times its average winter figure of 22.

01 April 2010

And March ....

It was indeed a March of many weathers.

New figures show last month was the coldest March in years in some areas -- but it also had the highest levels of sunshine since the 1950s in others.

After the weather over the past week when icy Atlantic winds swept across a number of counties, it will come as little surprise to many that it was the bitterest March since 1987, according to data gathered at two observatories.

Met Eireann's monthly summary shows a dry and clear start gave way to milder but more unsettled conditions over the second half of the month.

Earlier this week, 25,000 households around the border and midlands were without power; while motorists in Derry had to be dug from their cars by members of the PSNI after heavy snowstorms hit.

Overall, temperatures struggled to reach double figures in many areas while there were a number of days of frost when ground temperatures fell below -10 degrees Celsius.

There was also little rainfall at the start of the month -- with none in parts of the east until March 16 -- but heavy downpours came at the end.

The results analysed by Met Eireann are from 13 weather stations around the country.

Sunshine totals were above normal everywhere, especially in the south and west. Measurements from Valentia observatory show 159 hours of sunshine -- the highest for March since 1955. "By far the sunniest period of the month was between the seventh and the tenth, when daily values of more than 10 hours were widely recorded," the report said.