Northern Ireland

NI Weather Review: Sunshine, showers and storms from Abigail to Frank

January: Sunshine and snow on the hills around Rathfriland Picture: James Frazer Image copyright James Frazer
Image caption January: Sunshine and snow on the hills around Rathfriland

It was a year of extremes ... and most of that kind of weather fell in the last two weeks of 2015.

The cool spring and damp summer were offset by a very mild end to the year.

Across the UK, 2015 featured in the top 10 wettest years since records began in 1910.

January was unsettled and often windy with some stormy days. On 15 January, a man was killed by a falling tree in County Antrim.

Image copyright Douglas Cecil
Image caption February: Stormy seas around Rathlin

However, there were some cold, sunny days in the second half of the month with hill snow and sharp overnight frosts.

Temperatures and rainfall were average, but sunshine was above average.

February was a month of two halves - the first half was cold, but often dry with crisp sunshine. Overnight temperatures dropped to -9C at Katesbridge.

Late February brought rain, strong winds and some wintry showers.

March was a month of wide-ranging temperatures as is often the case in early spring, when the days start to stretch and the sun gains strength.

Katesbridge dropped to -5.6C on the night of 19 March and Murlough, which is not a million miles away, rose to 15.7C on 28 March.

There was a partial solar eclipse on 20 March. It was the sixth sunniest March since 1929.

Image copyright David Miller
Image caption March: Sunshine in the Mourne mountains

April saw temperatures break the 20C barrier at Castlederg but nights were frosty.

Daytime temperatures were a little above average, but nights were cold with some late frosts.

May was unsettled and cool, with heavy rain at times and strong winds on several days. A deluge of rain fell in the Mournes in early May.

Image copyright Eileen Christie
Image caption June: A sunny day in Ballycastle

It was disappointingly cold for the last month of spring with very few days recording temperatures of 20C, and it was the coldest May since 1996 with temperatures.

June began cool, wet and windy, but the weather was looking up by the end of the month.

Disappointingly, after a warm start to July, the month turned dull, cool and wet with westerly winds. There were brief drier spells - notably when the tall ships were in town.

It was unusually windy at times with gusts to over 50mph in Castlederg.

Image copyright Glenn Miles
Image caption July: Storm clouds over Ballintoy church

August was cool, wet and windy at times. There were some warm, sunny days but the second half of the month was particularly wet. Temperatures and sunshine were slightly below average and rainfall was 120% of the long-term average.

September was much drier and sunnier, but it was still cool due to northerly winds. Sunshine was 115% of average, making it, provisionally, the sunniest September since 1997.

Image copyright Desmond Loughery
Image caption September: A sunny day in Limavady

October was warm, dry and sunny as well. Day-time temperatures were above average - the highest temperature for the month was 19.8C at Peatlands in County Armagh. Rainfall was well below the average at just 59% and sunshine was up at 120%

Image copyright Colin Logue
Image caption October: A bright autumn day at Six Mile Water

November was notably unsettled across the UK and Ireland as the season's first three named storms Abigail, Barney and Clodagh moved in from the Atlantic. The month began dry, sunny and very mild but with foggy mornings. It soon turned cloudy and increasingly unsettled. The rest of the month was changeable, wet and often very windy, with south-westerly winds. The first snow fell on high ground in the Mournes.

Storm Abigail brought gusts close to 60mph in the Antrim Glens and there was flooding, particularly at Lough Navar, County Fermanagh. The month ended with Storm Clodagh.

It was the fourth wettest November since 1910 and the dullest November since 2007.

December continued the wet, windy, mild and often stormy weather theme and we were greeted by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank.

There was snow at Lough Navar in Fermanagh on 12 December and night-time frosts as temperatures fell to -3C.

Image copyright Colm McCaffrey
Image caption November: Storm Clodagh visited Lough Melvin

Flooding affected several counties, many roads were temporarily closed due to fallen trees or flooding and several homes were without power at one point.

Parts of Fermanagh, Armagh and Down had record-breaking rainfall amounts for the month of December, particularly Derrylin in Fermanagh where about two and a half times the average amount of rain fell and there was significant flooding around Lough Erne.

The Aurora Borealis made a spectacular show to end the year on 31 December. Who needs fireworks?

Image copyright Stewart Moore
Image caption December: Flooding at Upper Lough Erne

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