If there’s one thing that gets Irish individuals more thrilled than a routine Christmas, it’s the possibility of a white Christmas.
A traditional pillar of festive literature, movie and television, the traditional picture of Christmas Day is quite that of a pleasant snowy night – a gentle snowfall, a blanket of snow on the ground, and individuals wrapped up inside next to a fire.
If you’re Irish, you understand that Irish Christmases typically aren’t rather so idyllic. Snow?
It does happen.
Numerous in Ireland will recall Christmas 2010 as the only conventional white Christmas we’ve enjoyed in current decades. ‘Delighted in’ may not be the best word, mind you, because that Christmas Day was preceded and followed by a lengthy period of wintry weather condition – a correct cold snap the similarity which we would not see once again up until the ‘Monster from the East’ shut the country down for a few days in 2018.
Ireland tends to close down when there’s heavy snow, and that can get challenging after the novelty wears off for a lot of after a day or 2 – not to discuss the really real problems snow can trigger for lots of people as quickly as it begins to stick.
How frequently does it snow at Christmas?
2010 aside, how often exactly does Ireland experience snow on Christmas Day?
A few indicate make before we respond to that. To start with, Ireland is not especially prone to snow in general due to our climate conditions. That’s especially the case during the early winter, including December. It’s January and February that we’re most likely to have snow. As 2018 revealed, even March can be really cold.
Second of all – and notably – there are various ways of categorizing a white Christmas.
For numerous, it’s obviously that postcard image of a good blanket of snow on the ground as the flakes continue to fall.
A snow covered Leinster house in Dublin in November2010 Image by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images
However for others – some bookmakers consisted of – it’s formally a white Christmas if you get a few snowflakes falling on the day. It doesn’t matter if it sticks or not: snow is snow.
With that in mind, you have two methods of classifying white Christmases in Ireland.
According to Met Éireann information released a couple of years earlier, there have been 17 days given that modern-day monitoring started in 1961 where forecasting stations rather in the nation have taped snow on Christmas Day: 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1980, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
However, when you classify it as snow pushing the ground at 9am in the morning on Christmas Day, then you’re down to 9: 1964, 1970, 1980, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
As you may expect, out of those years 2010 was indeed an exceptional year – that saw the maximum depth of snow ever recorded on December 25 th, with 27 cm at Sash Aerodrome.
There’s constantly a possibility …
According to Met Éireann’s numbers (consisting of over 70 years worth of data), the analytical probability of snow falling at Dublin Airport (a major monitoring station) on Christmas Day is around as soon as every 5.9 years.
Obviously, this all returns to the general capacity for snow in Ireland. While January and February are the most common months for snow, it’s not unusual for snow to fall during the November to April period – and in some cases even May or September.
It also varies from location to place. As Met Éireann discusses: “Throughout the winter season, sea temperature levels are warmer than land which can typically lead to drizzle around the coasts but snow a couple of miles inland.
” Rain showers may fall as snow on greater ground as temperature level usually reduces with altitude. The variety of days with snow cover is quite variable from year to year.”
To sum all that up: a white Christmas is unusual in Ireland, however there’s always a possibility. Maybe next year …