Mild, wet January, slightly duller than average

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The Armagh Observatory has reported that January was milder and much wetter than average, but slightly duller with a little less than average sunshine.

The average temperature for the month was 5.67 degrees Celsius (42.2 F), approximately 1.0 C above the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) average January temperature at Armagh. This was the warmest January for four years, that is, since January 2012 (mean temperature 6.29 C).

There were also a number of very warm January days, notably the five-day period beginning 21st January. The warmest day was the 24th, which reached 15.0 degrees Celsius, while the second and third warmest days were the 26th and 23rd, reaching 13.9 C and 13.7 C respectively.

The 24th was the second-warmest January day on record at Armagh, that is, since measurements of daily maximum and minimum temperatures began at Armagh around 1844 (The warmest day remains 25th January 1847, which reached 15.7 C.) The coldest day was the 13th, with a maximum temperature of 3.6 C.

There was also an exceptionally warm night during the same spell of very mild January days, namely the night of the 24th/25th January. This was the warmest January night on record at Armagh, with a minimum temperature of just 12.6 C.

The month was exceptionally wet, with total precipitation amounting to 131.9 mm (5.19 inches), with no trace values. This was approximately 80% more than the average January precipitation at Armagh, making this month the wettest January at Armagh for eight years and the fourth wettest January at Armagh on record, that is, since records of daily precipitation began in Armagh in 1838. The three wetter Januarys are 1948 (170.8 mm), 1877 (140.1 mm) and 2008 (133.6 mm).

The wettest day was the 4th with 21.9 mm of rainfall. There were three days with light or patchy snow cover and less than a centimetre of snow lying.

January 2016 was slightly duller than average, with approximately 44.5 hours of strong sunshine, corresponding to 89% of the long-term average (1881-2010) number of hours of strong sunshine at Armagh and nearly 96% of the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) average. The sunniest day was the 20th with 6.3 hours of strong sunshine.

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