Northern Ireland

Met Éireann predicts 2023 will be Ireland’s hottest year on record

Crowds of people enjoying the sun on Portmarnock beach near Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Crowds of people enjoying the sun on Portmarnock beach near Dublin (Niall Carson/PA) Crowds of people enjoying the sun on Portmarnock beach near Dublin earlier this year, as Met Éireann has said 2023 is set to be Ireland's hottest on record. (Niall Carson/PA)

DESPITE a deluge of rainfall and flooding over recent months, Met Éireann has predicted that Ireland is still on course for the hottest year on record.

The Republic’s meteorological service said that for the first time the annual average temperature was 11°C after 124 years of record keeping.

This beats the 2022 record of 10.9°C, which itself narrowly beat the 2007 record by 0.1°C.

2023 also broke records for the warmest June (above 16°C) as well as the wettest March and July on record.

It follows warnings from climate scientists in November, who said it is “virtually certain” that 2023 will be the hottest year on record after four months of global temperatures being “obliterated”.

The annual weather figures for Northern Ireland, compiled by The Met Office, have yet to be released.

However, Northern Ireland experienced the hottest ever June since 1884 with a temperature of 16°C, a full three degrees higher than normal.

July was also the wettest for Northern Ireland since 1836, with 185.4mm of rain falling compared to 185.2mm once recorded in July 1936.

Keith Lambkin, Head of Climate Services at Met Éireann, commented: “Ireland has seen a remarkable year with rainfall and warming at unprecedented levels at times.

These record-breaking extremes have knock-on consequences to much of society. Past weather events are no longer a reliable indicator of future weather events, but knowing this allows us to better plan and adapt to our changing climate.”

Other significant weather developments for 2023 showed that January was the Republic’s coldest month, with a chilling -7.2°C recorded at Lullymore Nature Centre, Co Kildare, on January 17.

April saw Storm Noa bring storm force winds and waves of up to 17.3m on the Kerry and Cork coast.

After serious flooding during Storm Betty in August, it was the Republic’s third warmest September on record.

The rare heatwaves for the time of year also saw the highest temperature of the year with 29.1°C on September 8 at Lullymore Nature Centre, Co Kildare.

July was the wettest month of the year followed by October, when Cork Airport recorded its highest October rainfall ever, with 22% of October’s 1981-2020 long-term average.

Storm Babet caused further flooding that month, with more to follow in November.

In total, eleven storms were named in 2023 including three in December alone – Elin, Fergus and Gerrit.

Measuring weather conditions with 25 stations, from the most northernly in Malinhead, Co Donegal, to Sherkin Island in Co Cork, Met Éireann said that 24 stations recorded their warmest year on record.

Only Sherkin Island experienced a slightly warmer year in 2007.

Reflecting the persistent heavy rain this year, 22 of the stations also recorded 100% of their 1981-2020 long-term average rainfall.