The weather in Ireland is never boring or predictable, just like its people. The climate in Ireland can be described as being mild, moist and often changeable with lots of rain, a bit of wind and not many extreme temperatures.The dominant influence on Ireland's climate is the Atlantic Ocean and its currents. Consequently, Ireland does not suffer from the extreme temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitude (www.met.ie). It is neither very hot nor very cold in Ireland. Temperatures vary between 3° C and a maximum of 28°C.
In Ireland, everyone talks about the weather. Weather is one of the most commonly used topics of conversation here and it can get you out of numerous situations when inspiration is lacking: an awkward silent moment during a tête-à-tête, while exchanging pleasantries with the lady on the bus, while waiting for the barista to make your coffee, starting a chat with a stranger in a pub and in many other instances. Once you arrive here, make sure you learn some of the typical phrases, which are a good way to start a conversation!
The seasons in Ireland
Like any temperate climate country, we have four seasons throughout the year, but if you’re really lucky, you might get the chance to experience all seasons in one day! Just in case you don’t have the Irish luck, these are the seasons to expect in Ireland:
Spring and summer
In spring (March to May) the average highest temperatures range from 8°C to 14°C, with April considered particularly pleasant. In summer (June to August), the averages for highest temperatures are between 15°C and 21°C. One thing that is more than probable is rain - that’s what makes our grass so green, but long bouts of rain are pretty rare. So, you can either put on suitable clothes, or take refuge into a nice cosy pub to wait out the shower, take your pick.
The warmest months, July and August, get about 18 hours of daylight and it gets dark only after 11pm. Hence, the well-known phrase Irish people use when talking about it “sure there’s a grand stretch in the evenings”. Don’t worry; you’ll learn more of all this jargon once you start your language learning journey at Galway Cultural Institute.
Autumn and winter
In autumn, (September to November) temperatures hit between 8°C and 14°C. September is considered a mild, temperate month. Winter (December to February) air temperatures inland normally reach 7°C, 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. We rarely see snow. It falls between 2 and 3 times each year (1-2 inches) and seldom lasts for more than a day or two.
When to visit
Any time is a good time to come and visit Ireland, there's no such thing as “a perfect time to visit Ireland”. If you come during the summer months then you can enjoy a long stroll on the Salthill promenade (which is a stone throw away from our language school) during the long sunny evenings, you can enjoy Galway’s parks in full bloom and eating all the home-made ice-cream you can in our gelatos and cafés. And of course in summer, there are festivals around every corner.
Autumn and spring are will also bring you another delightful sight of Galway and Ireland in general. Autumn can welcome you with many festivals as well while bronze-burnished leaves are waiting to be kicked under the austere trees all around the city. Spring sees nature come to life, flowers blossom and millions of daffodils at every corner. As for winter, a walk through a national park on a clear, crisp winter's day can mean seeing nature at its most impressive stage.
Wondering what to wear?
Simple: you need to bring a four season wardrobe! Just joking… you will need to adapt to a four season likelihood of weather so go for layers that you can put on or take off as the temperature changes. Bring a sweater even in the summer, waterproof clothes to accompany all outdoor activities, sunglasses (and sun cream of course), comfortable shoes for walking and an umbrella.
It is never very cold in Galway even in winter. It is wet particularly in winter but Galwegians joke about having four seasons in a day, like most Irish do in most cities around Ireland. It is windy sometimes. Do make sure to bring a warm rain proof jacket with you. There are lots of shops with very affordable rain jackets if you wish to buy one after you arrive. It is also good to have gloves, a hat and a scarf. Summers are usually pleasantly warm but it does rain. Do bring a light jacket or coat with you just in case!