The big question that most people had before I left … What will the weather be like in December? I had done my research and new that the average temperature was 47 degrees (Fahrenheit), along with rain and fog probable. The chance of snow … Very minor; although 2010 provided a white Christmas for most of the country.
To now answer that question in one word … damp. The temperature has been fluctuating from the mid-40’s to the mid-50’s. As I write this, the temperature is 53 degrees. It is one of the more milder days that I have had. And while the temperature does have an effect on the weather, I must say that the humidity has been providing the response: ‘It feels like ….’
The first day here, I was greeted with rain as I loaded my luggage in the car. Today, it is still raining. In fact, we have not had a day where it hasn’t rained within a 24 hour period. There has been a strong set of fronts that have been pulling moisture from the Atlantic to the southwest/south part of the county; then upward across the entire island. As I have monitored the weather sites, most days are showing 90% humidity or greater and that is without the rain. With the low temperature … it can be the type of cold that ‘bites to the bone.’
But all is not lost. There have been days, like yesterday, that we have had sun. It was a beautiful day; very few clouds. Until, that is, sundown arrived and the rain moved in. By 8pm … raining. On average, there had been sunshine at least 60% of the time.
I have found it interesting that most places have a saying that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change. Well in Ireland, it is true. After a week, I gave up on the weather forecast. I can check the forecast at this moment and it will say … Rain for the next 5 hours. In 30 minutes, I will see rain for an hour and then sunny skies for two. Check back again … Sunny for three; rain for two.
My two favorite forecasts … Checked one night before heading to bed and it was calling for dense fog until 11am. So, I adjusted my plans for the next day. As the sun was coming up … Yes, I said sun, I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise over the Knockmealdown Mountains. Readjusted and headed out the door. The other one was Christmas Eve … The forecast called for torrential rain all day. By noon, the sun was shining and stayed with us all afternoon.
The lesson learned … With a flexible schedule, I can change my plans with the weather to maximize the sunny periods. To keep an umbrella with me at all times has also been a good habit.
In the future, if I return this time of year … Or for anyone considering traveling to Ireland during December, here is my advice.Wool Sweater
While in Waterford the first week, I was talking to someone and the indicated that it would take a week to get use to the weather. They were right. The to-the-bone chill and dampness is still present, but I have managed to adapt. It might also have a lot to do my new wool sweater and socks, too!
I wouldn’t let the weather deter anyone … Just be prepared!