Northern Ireland Weather and Climate
The island of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean is divided into Northern Ireland (around 16%) and the larger Republic of Ireland in the southern area (around 84% of the island’s area).
Northern Ireland is more densely populated than its independent “neighbor” and part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. More than 1.7 million people live on around 13,850 square kilometers.
The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast, which is also connected to the Irish capital, Dublin, via the island’s main motorway. Due to the Common Travel Area agreement, there are no border controls between the two countries.
Slieve Donard is the highest point in the country at 849 meters. The largest lake in the British Isles is located in central Northern Ireland, Lough Neagh. The coastline has a length of around 500 kilometers, the widest extension is 180 kilometers from east to west.
Belfast is 1110 kilometers as the crow flies from Frankfurt
Climate in Northern Ireland
Like all the British Isles, Northern Ireland has an oceanic climate that can be described as temperate maritime due to the effects of the Golg Stream. Despite the northern location, the climate is therefore quite mild (and humid) in winter, while the summers are somewhat cooler than in other regions at this longitude. It rains all year round in Northern Ireland, but especially in autumn and winter.
In the high areas there is around 1,600 millimeters of precipitation annually. In the northwest around Londonderry, almost 2000 millimeters of rain falls per year. Drier areas are in the south and east in the coastal areas near Lough Neagh with only about 800 mm of rain per year. In the areas above 850 meters there is snowfall on an average of 35 days a year.
The warmest temperatures are in the summer months of June, July and August. On average, a daytime temperature of 18 to 19 ° C is reached during these months, while night temperatures of around 10 degrees are common in summer. The number of hours of sunshine is quite low all year round, only Scotland has even less sunshine in the region. In winter it is not very cold, even in January the mean value is 3.9 degrees Celsius.
When to go to Northern Ireland
The best time to travel to Northern Ireland is from May to September. The days are the longest during this time and the temperatures are comparatively pleasant. Statistically, May has the most hours of sunshine in the year and is therefore an ideal travel month for round trips. In terms of weather, the east of Northern Ireland is more consistent all year round and usually also sunnier than the west coast.
The warmest months are July and August while it is November through March which can get noticeably fresher in Northern Ireland. Above all, the steady wind often makes the temperatures appear even colder than they actually are. Basically, the British Isles are safe and easy to travel to all year round. However, when considering the best time to travel to Northern Ireland, we deliberately recommend the months with the best weather conditions.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Belfast (Northern Ireland)
|Daytime temperature||6 ° C||7 ° C||9 ° C||12 ° C||15 ° C||18 ° C||18 ° C||18 ° C||16 ° C||13 ° C||9 ° C||7 ° C|
|Night temperature||2 ° C||2 ° C||3 ° C||4 ° C||6 ° C||9 ° C||11 ° C||11 ° C||9 ° C||7 ° C||4 ° C||3 ° C|
|Water temperature||8 ° C||7 ° C||7 ° C||8 ° C||9 ° C||11 ° C||12 ° C||13 ° C||13 ° C||13 ° C||12 ° C||10 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||85||58||66||52||59||63||63||80||84||87||77||77|
|Hours of sunshine||2||2||3||5||6||6||5||4||4||3||2||1|
The annual average temperature in Belfast is 9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (14.7 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 3.9 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Belfast is 13 ° C. That is hardly suitable for swimming.
The annual precipitation is 851 mm on 153 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. In the months of January, February, March, April, November and December snowfall is possible.
As our climate table shows, May is the sunniest month with an average of 6.4 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year, the sun shines for 3.6 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Highlights and attractions
Many travelers still tend to avoid Northern Ireland as a “conflict zone”, although the dark times of violence are long gone. Today Northern Ireland is a safe travel destination brimming with adventure and highlights. Visit Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, with its Grand Opera House and many other great sights. Explore the historic city walls in Derry, Down Cathedral in Downpatrick or the Glens of Antrim.
The basalt columns at Giant’s Causeway and the paradisiacal landscape at Lough Erne shouldn’t be missed either. In the Navan Fort you can learn more about the sometimes bloody feuds of the ancient Celts, while on a clear day you can see the capital after climbing the Slieve Donard. Nature lovers, anglers and hikers will also get their money’s worth in Northern Ireland. A great travel destination for individualists and culture lovers!
Northern Ireland weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 9 ° C and 15 ° C can be expected over the next three months. Belfast is warmest in May, but March is noticeably cooler.
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 7-9 ° C. So the weather is not suitable for swimming.
The expected rainfall is around 15 days in March, around 10 days in April and around 12 days in May.
In the period from March to May , the sun shines on average between 3 and 6 hours a day. Belfast’s sunniest weather is in May, but March is less sunshine.