Does it snow in Ireland? My friend has been asking as she is planning to visit Ireland during the winter months.
The short answer is YES.
If you’ve ever considered visiting Ireland, you’ve definitely thought about what kind of weather you’ll have to prepare for.
You’re probably right that Ireland gets cold, but is it sufficiently cold snow during the winter months?
And if it does snow, how much is it?
The answers to these questions will vary based on when you visit and where you are in the country.
In this article, I will answer in detail the question “does it snow in Ireland?”
Let’s dive straight into it.
Does it Snow in Ireland?
The answer to this question is not straight forward.
The short answer is YES.
Snow in Ireland is very rare, and when it does snow, the amount is low and it does not stay on the ground for long.
This snow happens on a frequent basis.
It’s also important to note that, while snow falls in some parts of the country, Dublin and the neighboring areas experience milder winters and receive less snow compared to other parts of Ireland.
Overview of Ireland
Ireland is a country in the North Atlantic Ocean.
It has an area of approximately 84,420 square kilometers and is divided from the United Kingdom by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St. George’s Channel.
It is the British Isles’ second-largest island.
Ireland is a nature lover’s heaven, from the Atlantic Ocean’s storm-lashed shorelines to the relatively low-lying mountains around an undulating center plain covered in limestone.
Even though freezing temperatures are uncommon in Ireland and the majority of the winter’s precipitation falls in the form of rain with the mountain regions receiving approximately 30 days of snowfall per year.
During the winter, it may snow lightly or not at all in the island’s low-lying areas.
Overview of the Climate of Ireland
Due to its location in the northeastern section of the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland has a temperate, oceanic climate with lots of rainfall and pleasant temperatures.
The heat transported by the prevailing winds of the North Atlantic Drift and Gulf Stream warms the island.
This influence is greatest near the coast and diminishes as you proceed into the interior regions.
In winter, much of Ireland gets cool but rarely freezing temperatures.
Rain is common, and the skies are frequently cloudy.
Temperatures infrequently drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and in the winter, rain turns to snow at elevations of more than 400 meters (1300 feet) above sea level.
The number of days with snow cover increases as air temperatures fall.
When Does it Snow in Ireland?
As winter approaches, the average temperature drops to 470 degrees Fahrenheit (8.5 degrees Celsius).
In December, Ireland gets 2-3 days of snow.
During this month, snowfall accumulates to levels of 0.79 inches (19.81 millimeters) on average.
As the winter season progresses, typical temperatures settle around 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 degrees Celsius).
Precipitation continues to fall, with over 2.46 inches (62.6 millimeters) reported.
As Ireland braces for the change of seasons, the average temperature falls to 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius).
The total quantity of snow reported is 1.81 inches (46.1 millimeters).
Where Does it Snow in Ireland?
Now, don’t let the lack of snow deter you from visiting Ireland.
There are a few spots where you can travel that have a higher likelihood of snow every year.
As I previously stated, many of Ireland’s mountain ranges are blanketed in snow throughout the winter.
The Mourne Mountains and the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountains are two famous places to observe magnificent white mountain summits.
Slieveanglogh, one of the Mourne Mountains’ lower summits, provides an excellent view of the covered Mourne Mountains.
The MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountains in Kerry provide equally magnificent views from any point on the mountain range.
If you don’t want to travel to the mountains to view snow, you might be able to see it on the ground if you’re lucky.
To enhance your chances of seeing snow in Ireland, head north and inland during Ireland’s winter months, January and February.
The regions of Mullingar and Donegal are well recognized for experiencing snow that remains on the ground for a while.
Does it Snow in Dublin, Ireland?
The answer is YES.
Dublin, Ireland’s largest city and capital, with a population of about 1.3 million people.
It is situated at the Liffey River’s mouth and has an elevation of 279 feet (85 meters).
During the winter, Dublin has an oceanic, cool, and humid climate, with temperatures ranging from 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) to 43.7 degrees Fahrenheit (6.50 degrees Celsius).
Snowfall is uncommon in Dublin.
The sky is frequently gloomy, and rainfall is common, with 2.2 inches (55.88 millimeters) recorded.
This is a little amount of rain in comparison to other areas since Dublin’s location on the east side hides some of the moisture coming from the ocean, which is then released on the western side as rain.
Does it Snow in Dublin in December?
There is no assurance that it will snow in Dublin during the month of December, although it has a higher statistical likelihood than other months.
During December, the average temperature in Dublin is around 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius), which frequently results in snowfall mixed with rainfall or just chilly rain showers.
However, while this is the most common result of December precipitation in Dublin, there is a greater chance of snowfall in December.
Nevertheless, it is not an assurance and almost certainly will not be sufficient to participate in winter sports or build a snowman.
Does it Snow in Malin Head, Ireland?
YES, it does snow in Malin Head, Ireland.
Malin Head is a picturesque town located in Northern Ireland.
It has a cold winter, with a mean temperature of 47.8 degrees Fahrenheit (8.8 degrees Celsius) reported.
From November to May, there are approximately 20.3 days of snowfall.
Does it Snow in Cork, Ireland?
The answer is NO.
The coldest months in the south of Ireland are January and February, however during the mild winter in Cork, the average temperature is generally around 8 degrees Celsius, and it seldom drops below 3 degrees Celsius.
It rarely snows. Winter in Cork is tolerable.
Why Does it Very Rarely Snow in Cork, Ireland?
There are several reasons why it very rarely snows in Cork, Ireland:
Cork is located on the south coast of Ireland, which means it is less prone to cold, northerly winds that can bring snow.
Cork has a mild, oceanic climate, with average temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. Snow requires sustained temperatures below freezing, which is uncommon in Cork.
The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current that flows along the west coast of Europe, including Ireland. It helps to keep temperatures in Cork relatively mild, even in winter.
Cork is not a particularly high city, with an elevation of only 20-40 meters above sea level. Higher altitudes generally have cooler temperatures and are more likely to experience snow.
Does All Ireland Get Snow?
Contrary to popular belief, most of Ireland does not receive snow unless on rare occasions.
The Wicklow Mountains National Park, which is little over an hour’s journey south of Dublin, is one spot in Ireland where you can nearly always expect to see snow during the winter season.
With Lugnaquilla Mountain reaching a height of nearly 3,000 feet, it’s unusual not to see snow here in the winter.
While most of Ireland experiences rainy or slushy weather in the winter due to temperatures above freezing, the Wicklow Mountains are high enough in elevation to receive snow due to the colder climate.
Snow does occur sporadically over the remainder of Ireland, although it is not certain in any given place.
Why Doesn’t Ireland Get Much Snow?
Ireland’s location in the North Atlantic Ocean near a warm ocean current keeps it relatively mild and damp throughout the year.
This means that temperatures rarely fall low enough for snow to form.
In addition, Ireland’s moderate climate is influenced by a westerly airflow from the Atlantic Ocean that brings mostly mild and humid conditions.
The country also has a low-lying terrain, with most of the land below 500 meters, which contributes to an even milder climate.
Another factor that limits snowfall in Ireland is its geography.
The country is surrounded by hills and mountains that help to shelter it from harsh weather conditions.
This geography also helps to protect the climate of Ireland from Polar and Arctic winds that often bring snow to other parts of Europe.
Ski Resorts in Ireland
Ireland is many things, but it is not a winter sports country.
There may be snow a few times a year, but there are no skiing infrastructures in place, such as ski lifts, so people may head out to the hills to snowboard.
Kilternan, on the other hand, has dry slopes made up of four principal slopes. The main hill is 180 meters long, while the intermediate slope is 150 meters long.
For children, there are two 50-meter slopes.
Ireland’s landscape may not be conducive to winter sports, but that does not imply humans are confined.
A ski simulator designed by Irish residents allows you to improve your snowboarding or skiing talents indoors.
The simulator employs sophisticated spinning slope technology to simulate real-world circumstances.
The absence of winter sports in Ireland shouldn’t prevent you from visiting.
The country is rich in scenic beauty and historical landmarks that tell the story of Ireland’s great past and remind us why it is the country it is today.
For example, in Boyne Valley, there is a 5200-year-old tomb named Newgrange Tomb, which was created by stone age farmers.
It has a diameter of 85 meters and a height of 13.5 meters.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in the center of Dublin, is one of the most stunning and biggest Irish cathedrals.
Final Thoughts on the Question: “Does it Snow in Ireland?”
Does it snow in Ireland? As we have learnt in the post, the answer is YES.
Despite its climate and low altitude of the country, there are areas within Ireland that experience snow in the country.
However, this should not discourage you from visiting this amazing destination during the winter.
So, pack your bags and head over to Ireland for a unique winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cold in Ireland at Christmas?
YES, it does get cold during Christmas in Ireland. In Ireland, December marks the start of winter. Temperatures range from 5°C and 10°C at this time of year. The days are short and cloudy, with fewer than eight hours of daylight. In addition, December is windy and rainy across the country.
What are winters like in Ireland?
Extreme winters are rare, and you're more likely to encounter a warm glow than a frosty reception, with average winter temperatures of between 40°F/5°C and 46°F/8°C. Summer temperatures are generally between 60°F/15°C to 70°F/20°C.
What is Dublin like in the winter?
Dublin in the winter can be chilly and wet, with temperatures often dropping to around 0°C or below. However, despite the cold weather, the city remains bustling with events and activities. The average winter temperature in Dublin is 5°C (41°F), with temperatures ranging from 0°C (30°F) to 8°C (47°F). Temperatures at night can drop to -5°C (25°F). Because it is still fall, the weather in Dublin in November is usually milder.
Does it snow more in England or Ireland?
It does snow more in England than in Ireland. This is because the Gulf Stream effectively warms Ireland more than the British Isles. More of Britain's island is located at higher latitudes. Britain also occasionally encounters Siberian weather fronts, which dissipate before reaching Ireland. Ireland is surrounded by slightly warmer oceans than the United Kingdom.
What is the best time of the year to travel to Ireland?
Ireland is best visited between March and May, and September and November, when it is not as crowded as in summer, nor as frigid as in winter. Having said that, Ireland has a pleasant, temperate climate, and while it does rain at times, you can visit all year.