Mild December

Armagh Observatory reports that December was milder and duller than average.

The mean monthly temperature was 5.6 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit), that is, approximately one degree Celsius above average. Christmas Day, with a maximum temperature of 13.5 degrees C, was the warmest Christmas Day in at least 168 years, i.e., since records began in 1843. The two previous warmest Christmas Days were those of 1898 (12.9 degrees) and 1955 (12.8 degrees).

New Years Eve 2011, with a maximum temperature of 12.1 degrees, was the third warmest since 1843. The mildest were those of 1850 (12.6 degrees) and 1920 (12.2 degrees). The maximum air temperature was 13.5 C on the 25th, and the lowest air temperature was –1.6 C on 16th.

The recorded number of hours of sunshine was 27.3, which is about 30% below the monthly average, however, due to a technical problem, the sunshine recorder did not register the number of hours of sunshine on December 12th.

The total precipitation for the month was 83.0 mm (3.27 inches), that is, about average for December. There were 5 days with slight snowfall. There were 14 days with grass frost and 5 days with air frost. There was a gale on 8th.

The average temperature at Armagh for the whole of 2011 was 10.29 degrees, making this the sixth warmest year at Armagh on record.

These data refer to observations at Armagh Observatory, which has been recording the weather at Armagh since 1795.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfat; URL:

Last Revised: 2012 January 3rd