Weather In Ireland: Handy Translation Guide

Complaining, or “giving out” about the weather in Ireland is a national pastime.  Ireland seems so idyllic from the pictures: rolling green fields, crisp blue skies, or perhaps, a soft dewy rain falling.  What those pictures fail to capture is the fact that it is bone-chilling cold, the wind driving in off the ocean, or the fact that that “dewy” look was created by the torrential rain that just passed by.

Combine this with the seemingly innocuous weather “forecasts” that we get from Met Éireann, and you could be lulled into thinking that the weather in Ireland is positively lovely!  Wrong. Now, we don’t get some of the truly life-threatening weather conditions that are common in the US.  There are rarely any tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat or drought.  It is more that the weather is low-grade bad and annoying for 90% of the time.  People are always shocked at how cold it feels here – even though the temperature may not be all that “cold”. We had a few weeks in the summer of 2013 where the temperatures rose to the mid 80s and it didn’t rain for 2 weeks.  You would have thought we had died and gone to heaven.  People took off of work, spend the day in the park, at the beach, or generally just laying outside.  For the rest of the year, if you want warm weather, better head to Portugal!

Here is the weather forecast for yesterday, copied directly from the Met’s website:

A mix of bright spells and showers today. A few of the showers may be heavy, with a slight risk of hail. Windy again with strong and gusty westerly winds, the winds will moderate in the late evening. Highest temperatures of 8 Celsius.

And my “real-world” assessment:

It lashed rain, and then the blinding sun would peak through between the storms. Most of the showers were heavy, and nearly every shower will be accompanied by hail. We were under a wind-warning. 50-60 kph (30-35mph), with gusts to 100-110 kph (60-65mph).  If it is your trash day, you can find your bin somewhere in the next county.  It was 5C/40F when I drafted this post.

Now, it’s not all Met Éireann’s fault.  The weather here is just…well…variable.  It’s not like the temperature steadily rises and falls, and the rain follows a noticeable pattern. Part of this is just life on an island in the north Atlantic.  But it would help if they offered wind speeds, wind chills, or numerical probability of precipitation, i.e. “There is a 40% chance of rain today.”

Given the discrepancy between Met Éireann’s forecast and reality, below is my handy translation guide to Irish Weather:

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]What Met Éireann says:[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]What will really happen:[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Mostly Sunny[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Mostly cloudy, but you might see the sun once or twice.[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Close[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Muggy[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Breezy[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Windy[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Fresh[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Freeze your a$$ off cold, regardless of season[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cool[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cold[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Clear or sunny spells[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]You might see the sky[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Bright[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cloudy but not raining[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Warm[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]You will be cold[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Unseasonably warm[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Don’t put away those winter coats.  It’s still May![/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Scattered Showers[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Raining where you are – without fail[/one_half]

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