Wettest January for several years

Shoppers in  Belfast City Centre on Monday afternoon.
Shoppers in Belfast City Centre on Monday afternoon.

January in Northern Ireland was warmer and duller than average – and much wetter.

That is what figures released yesterday by the Armagh Observatory indicate, with a reading of 107.05mm of rainfall (a little over 4.2 inches) given for the month – nearly 45 per cent more than average.

The figures made it the wettest January at Armagh since 2008.

The wettest day was January 25, when 20.3mm (0.8 inches) of rain fell, while the mean monthly temperature was 5.2 degrees Celsius (41.4F) which is about a half-a-degree warmer than average.

When it comes to the month’s peaks and troughs, the highest maximum temperature was 11C, recorded on January 24, and the coolest night was -0.6C, recorded on January 14.

The Observatory found that 20 of the days saw frost on the grass.

As for sunlight, the number of hours of “strong sunshine” during the month was 41.3, about 10 per cent less than average sunshine for January.

The sunniest day was January 20, with a full 6.8 hours of sunshine.

All the readings were taken at the observatory itself, which has been keeping records since 1795.

The figures for January came after a markedly warmer-than-average month in December too, with minimum, maximum, and average temperatures for the Province all standing at between 1.3 and 1.5C higher than usual, according to the Met Office.

A spokeswoman said it had also been a wetter-than-usual December too, although the sunlight levels had been roughly in line with the monthly average.