Regional Climate Variation in Ireland
While the climate is broadly similar throughout Ireland, there are some regional differences, and they may tip the balance for you when deciding when and where to visit.
Coastal areas experience the least difference between summer and winter conditions, with an average 10ºC difference between January and July. This is due to the effect of the Atlantic Ocean, which absorbs heat in summer and releases it in winter.
Mountains and those areas to the east of the mountains are generally wetter, so many areas in Kerry, Galway and Donegal experience higher annual rainfall.
The South East is typically the warmest and driest part of Ireland and gets the most hours of sunshine annually. It is known for this reason as “the Sunny South-East.
These differences are relatively slight and not sufficient to cause much variation in vegetation or the appearance of the countryside.
The latest and most accurate regional weather forecasts for Ireland are available from the Irish Meterological Service.
Rainbows are a common occurance in Ireland, though of course the price we pay for their beauty is lots of rain. I’ve never had a reliable account of anyone finding a pot of gold though!
West Cork & the Gulf Stream
An exception is West Cork, where the coastal areas warmed by the Gulf Stream support a lush, almost tropical, vegetation. This is very evident when you visit the area and see palm trees and other exotic plants growing happily – they would find it much harder to survive in other parts of Ireland.
This warm micro climate has made West Cork a region where there are many beautiful gardens, none more so that the garden on Ilnaculin or Garnish Island.