Ireland has a mild but changeable Oceanic climate with few
extremes. The warmest recorded air temperature was 33.3
°C (91.94 °F) at Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny on 26
June 1887, whereas the lowest recorded temperature was -19.1
°C (-2.38 °F) at Markree Castle, County Sligo on 16 January
Other statistics show that the greatest recorded annual
rainfall was 3,964.9 mm (156.1 in) in the Ballaghbeena Gap
in 1960. The driest year on record was 1887, with only 356.6
mm (14.0 in) of rain recorded at Glasnevin, while the longest
period of absolute drought was in Limerick where there was
no recorded rainfall over 38 days during April and May 1938.
The climate is typically insular, and as a result of the
moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the
South-Western Atlantic, it is temperate, avoiding the extremes
in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar
falls throughout the year, but is light overall, particularly
in the east. The west, however, tends to be wetter on average
and prone to the full force of Atlantic storms, more especially
in the late autumn and winter months, which occasionally
bring destructive winds and high rainfall totals to these
areas, as well as snow and hail. The regions of North Galway
and East Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning
annually (5 to 10 days per year). Munster in the south records
the least snow with Ulster in the north more prone to snow.
Some areas along the south and southwest coasts have not
had any lying snow since February 1991.
Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter –
there are usually around 40 days of below freezing temperatures
(0 °C/32 °F) at inland weather stations, but only 10 days
at coastal stations. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat
waves, most recently in 1995, 2003, 2006.