Does it Rain a Lot in Ireland?

I like to think that the weather here in Ireland is the only thing holding the country back from being the perfect place to live in the world! I always feel the need to remind visitors to Ireland that even the Irish people don’t like the rain…

Does it rain a lot in Ireland? Yes, depending on where you go. When measured as more than 1mm of rainfall a day, the average rainfall in the South and East of the Country is about 150 days of rain a year, while the West Coast gets about 225 days a year. This is rarely torrential and is usually mild.

While we might get more days of rain than many other parts of the world, the amount of rain we get is surprisingly low. We don’t have anything like monsoons in Ireland and the rain that we have is easily dealt with, provided you know what to expect…

I have a full guide to the Irish weather by month, including rainfall here.Opens in a new tab.

Irish Rain

Ireland will get rain throughout the year, it’s the only real constant in our climate. The ancient Romans called Ireland the “Land of Eternal Winter” (or Hibernia) because of it. The strange thing is that it rarely snows here. Ireland gets its weather from the Mexican Gulf Stream and this keeps our summers cool and our winters mild and there are few natural disasters as a result. There is very little to really worry about with the Irish climate. The thing most people notice though is the rain.

When you arrive in Ireland, you might find it odd that, so few people carry umbrellas. With about half the days in our year getting some sort of rainfall, you would think that we would carry them everywhere. Irish rain however is not actually that bad. When I travel to other parts of the world and I see a huge downpour, or see some monsoon weather, people jokingly like to say that I must “feel right at home”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The Irish are well used to a soft drizzle coming out of nowhere, but nothing major.

If you get the chance to travel to the West Coast of Ireland, you can see this more clearly. I have travelled along the coast of Kerry, where at certain times of the year, you can see the weather blow in off the Atlantic. Sunshine will break up the rainclouds that disperse themselves along Irish beaches. It really is something beautiful to behold, I just wouldn’t want to go surfing in it!

When I give tours, I always like to joke that the weatherman is the “most pointless job in Ireland”. That isn’t true, and I always consult the Irish weather service (MET Eireann) before I do any sort of outdoor activity. You can check out the national weather service of Ireland’s website HEREOpens in a new tab..

If you want to get a better sense of what the average annual rainfall in Ireland looks like, MET Eireann have collected information over decades and I have attached their findings in the helpful chart below. It shows the average rainfall in Ireland, month by month. This information was collected between 1981 and 2010.

Average Rainfall in Ireland

Temperature in Ireland

As mentioned before, it rarely gets that cold here in Ireland. Because of the Gulf Stream, the temperature rarely ever gets below freezing and as a result, Ireland almost never sees snow. While this Gulf Stream means that I have never seen a white Christmas, it also means that our summers are not nearly as good as those in other parts of Europe. The temperature in Ireland only really changes by about 10 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The average winter will be about 5 degrees and in summer it will get up to about 15-20. Though, in recent years that has been changing and summer days of 30 degrees are becoming more common.

The Lowest recorded temperature in Ireland was -17 and the highest recorded was +35. MET Eireann has also been collecting temperature data in Ireland for decades and I have attached a helpful chart to display their results below. This chart is measured in degrees Celsius and compares the average temperature in Ireland from month to month. The information was also collected between 1981 and 2010.

Average Temperature in Ireland

How to Prepare for the Irish Weather

There are a few things that you can do to prepare for the Irish weather. I have already discussed MET Eireann and you should consult their forecasts as often as possible while travelling in Ireland, especially if you are a solo traveller. However, I do have a few helpful tips that you can start to take advantage of even before you arrive in Ireland.

Firstly, if you want to use an umbrella in Ireland, get one before you arrive. When the rain gets bad in Dublin, it is common to see broken umbrellas stuffed into bins throughout the city, clearly people were having a bad day. If you want to use one here, you should get one that is of good quality. When it starts to rain, people will often panic and head straight inside and buy the first umbrella that they can find. Often, this will be something cheap, usually about €5. These are a false economy and a bit of a scam for tourists. Most of these umbrellas will fall apart a few minutes after you open them. You will still get wet, but now you will be €5 poorer.

You are probably better off purchasing a good raincoat, with a hood, before you arrive. This will not only better protect you from the rain, but you also won’t have to carry around an umbrella. If you do want to buy one however, make sure that it is durable and will stand up to some wind. That gulfstream will bring wind with the rain!

For advice on how to deal with the Irish rain, please check out my guide through this link.Opens in a new tab.

What is the best time of year to visit Ireland?

Ireland is a great place to visit any time of the year. The weather shouldn’t be the main deciding factor on when to visit Ireland and if you start to break too many plans because of bad weather, you might never get anything done while in the country! Having said that, I will do my best to talk about what to expect at different times of the year in Ireland:

November to January

This is the most miserable time to be in Ireland. These months see the most rain and the least amount of sunlight. Ireland is a lot further north than most people realise. This means that at the height of winter it will start to get dark at around 4pm. Having said all that, there are still some great things to experience this time of year. There is no better place to warm yourself up than an Irish pub with a roaring fire. And the weeks around Christmas are my personal favourite time of the year in Ireland. If you want to see the best of Irish pub culture, then this is the time of year you should visit!

February to April

The 1st of February is officially Spring in Ireland. Because the weather is similar throughout the year, we go by the amount of daylight that we get. When we get a little more sunshine, then its Spring. This is the time of year that Irish people like to start venturing outside again, but be warned, the weather still won’t be that great. St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for having bad weather and Springtime in Ireland has recently been getting some of the worst snowfall in decades.

May to July

This is the Irish summer. This is the best time of year to travel around the countryside as you will probably get to see the most of it. At the height of the summer, the sun won’t set until about 11pm. This is great for music festivals and camping throughout the Irish countryside. Just remember that this is also the time of year that you will need to pack sunscreen for you trip to Ireland!

August to October

Autumn in Ireland is when things start to even out. You will still see some of the best days of the year, but people are going to start to head indoors more often around this time.

Related Questions

Does it snow in Ireland? Yes, but not often. You will see snow-capped mountains in the winter, though it will rarely stick on the lower-lying ground for more than a few days. Recent years have seen an increase in snowfall, with March of 2018 having the heaviest snow in 40 years.

What county in Ireland has the best weather? Waterford is known to have the best weather of any county in Ireland. It is known as the “Sunny South-East” along with neighbouring Wexford and Wicklow.

Does it rain in Ireland in August? Yes. Ireland will get rain throughout the entire year. While August will not get nearly as much rain as in winter, it will still see some. August will have a higher temperature than other months, but it will still be milder in Ireland than in other parts of Europe.

Jack

Jack Redmond has been a tour guide in Ireland for the past decade. Having received a national guiding qualification, he has brought thousands of travelers all over the island of Ireland.

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