MET Éireann’s annual report for 2022 showed Shannon’s mean temperature was 0.5 degrees above the long term average, reflecting global warming trends.
According to its findings Shannon had 3% less rainfall than its long term average, while enjoying 1501 hours of sunshine, 15% above average.
There were some especially notable temperatures recorded Shannon this year, including its highest July temperature on record, when 30.8 degrees was recorded.
The highest August temperature on record at Shannon was also recorded (30.0 degrees) and the highest minimum temperature ever seen in Ireland during November was recorded at Shannon as the temperature never dipped below 14.9 degrees on Friday, November 14.
The report stated that Ireland’s warming trend continued in 2022, and we are warming in line with the global average.
It noted that other countries are warming at a greater rate than Ireland and the summer of 2022 saw multiple heatwaves and record-breaking temperatures across Europe and around the world.
The spring and summer of 2022 were drier than average in Ireland, which had negative consequences for agriculture and wider society.
The report noted that the latest Irish climate change projections indicate further warming in the future, drier summers on average and an increased chance of heatwaves and periods of drought.
It stated, “The Irish summer of 2022 is broadly consistent with projected future trends. While climate change projections also indicate a trend toward warmer winters, cold periods like those experienced this December cannot be ruled out in any particular year.”
The annual report said the year had started with good weather.
“January was mild and very dry. The first third of the month saw Atlantic low-pressure systems in charge, while the final two-thirds saw high pressure to the south dominate.
“Storm Corrie and Malik passed close to the north of the country towards the end of the month. February was a mild, wet and windy month dominated by Atlantic low pressure systems.
“A powerful Jetstream steered three named storms, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, close to or over the country mid-month, bringing the windiest period of the year.
“March, the driest of the spring months, was dominated by high pressure to the east over mainland Europe, which brought a lot of sunshine and kept it mild.”
The weather would be quite warm over the course of the summer including those record temperatures in July and August.
“High pressure shifted to the north of Ireland during April, which continued the direr, milder and sunnier than average theme.
“May was a warm, relatively dry and cloudy month. High pressure dominated at times, interspersed with periods where low pressure was in charge.
“June was a relatively mild, Atlantic dominated month, with a mostly southerly and westerly airflow. This kept it wetter, cooler and cloudier in the West and drier, warmer and sunnier in the East.”
July and August saw high pressure from the Azores building over Ireland on a number of occasions, keeping it warmer and drier than average.
A hot continental air mass led to a new record maximum daily temperature for July, while heatwave conditions in August brought a new record maximum daily temperature for August.
Much of the rest of the year was wet, but mild.
“The three autumn months of September, October and November were wetter than average as low pressure to the west and southwest of Ireland dominated for long periods,” the report stated. “This kept the airflow mostly between southerly and westerly, which brought milder than average temperatures.
“December, the only month of the year with below average temperatures, saw a prolonged cold spell under an Arctic air mass during the first half of the month, followed by Atlantic dominance for the second half.”
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.