Influenced by the Gulf Stream, the Weather in Ireland offers everything from gorgeous sunny coastlines to dramatic windswept lush green landscapes.
The astonishing variety across the country means that Ireland really does experience four seasons in one day.
Typical Weather in Ireland
Rain, rain, and a bit of sun is probably the best summary of what to expect from the Irish climate.
Conditions are generally damp yet mild. It does rain a lot, but that is what gives Ireland the lush, verdant countryside that makes it so charming.
Ireland can be quite windy, especially near the coast. The country is farther north than you might think, with cold air blowing down from the Arctic.
It is this chilly wind passing over the warm, moist airflow of the Gulf Stream that produces the misty conditions typically associated with Ireland.
Skies are often cloudy, but there are occasional sunny spells. Rain showers can be very sudden but are often quite brief.
Even though you can expect them to occur just about every other day, they don’t usually last for too long.
These rapidly changing conditions mean that you will frequently experience four seasons in one day, and stunning rainbows are a regular feature of Irish weather.
Ireland Weather Averages by Season
The Irish climate can vary enormously across the country, and there is a lot of rain.
Generally speaking, temperatures are reasonably consistent all year round and extremes of hot and cold are quite rare.
Although it’s not unusual to experience a vast array of different weather, Ireland does not have huge variations in conditions across the different seasons.
If you’re looking for sunshine, June, July and August are your best bets because they tend to be the hottest months.
If you’re very lucky, temperatures might reach the low 20s on the odd occasion.
January and February are definitely the chillier months, so you will need to pack some warmer clothing including a hat and gloves to protect yourself from the wind.
Snow is relatively rare, so if there is sudden freeze, expect that everyone will be quite surprised and possibly quite unprepared.
The tops of the mountains might receive a dusting of snow and ice, but the roads and towns will be unaffected for the most part.
Preparing for the Unpredictable
If you are holidaying in Ireland, you’ll want to be out and about seeing the many attractions and sights on offer.
However, dressing for a day trip here can be a little tricky.
You might wake up to glorious sunshine but end up facing a dramatic downpour of almost biblical proportions by lunchtime, so the key is to be ready for anything.
Wear plenty of thin layers so you can add or remove clothes as necessary.
You will probably get rained on at some stage, but an umbrella is not the most practical option.
If the rain is accompanied by high winds, which is a frequent occurrence, you will simply find yourself struggling to stop it turning inside out.
A rainproof top that you can pack away if not required is a much better solution. A hat will help keep your ears warm during any stiff Irish breezes.
It’s worth remembering that Ireland does get quite a bit of sun, so even if it is windy, you might find yourself at risk of burning, especially near the coast.
Wear sensible footwear because the ground is often wet and will probably be slippery underfoot, especially in more rugged areas.
If you are heading out into the rural and coastal countryside then renting a small car will be your best weather protection and you will be able to keep multiple pairs of clothing and footwear.
Where’s the Best Weather?
The answer to this question depends on what kind of weather you like.
The weather in Ireland is influenced largely by the warm air moving across the Atlantic Ocean and is more moderate than that found in other countries of an equivalent latitude.
Conditions in Ireland are milder inland, so this might be something to factor into your decision if you are thinking of moving there.
Dublin and the south-east are the driest parts of Ireland, usually experiencing around 750 mm of rain annually; some of the more mountainous regions can reach 2,000 mm in a very wet year.
The eastern side of the island experiences less rain that the west, where storms can blow up quite suddenly with little warning.
These often quickly pass to be replaced by sunshine, hence the country’s reputation for weather of four seasons in one day.
If you like your weather dramatic, the Irish coastline has plenty to offer thanks to the Gulf Stream.
Sites such as the Giant’s Causeway situated on the north-east of the island can be subject to high winds and choppy seas.
In contrast, the west coast has a micro-climate that supports plenty of lush sub-tropical vegetation.
Although these coastal areas vary hugely in terms of the Irish climate, they experience very little change throughout the year.
The Irish weather has a unique charm all of its own and is one of the things that makes a visit here so special.
There is no denying that it is extremely wet much of the time, so be prepared to spend most of your time in waterproofs.
If you are considering living or working here, it is also probably well worth investing in some quality wellies or boots to keep your feet dry.
With such changeable conditions in the Irish weather, you’ll undoubtedly feel as though you are frequently experiencing four seasons in one day.
Nevertheless, thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream, the enormous quantities of rain are offset by a humid and mild climate with reasonably consistent temperatures all year round.
After all, what would Ireland be without its luxuriantly gorgeous emerald green landscape?