Ireland sits on the convergence of a bank of damp Atlantic air and the cooling nature of the famous Gulf Stream. This keeps the temperatures fairly mild, despite its northern latitude. The weather can be very changeable, with sunny conditions one moment and heavy rain the next. During the winter, there can also be lengthy periods of rain or cloudy weather with no sunshine at all.
Cork is one of the drier and sunnier places in Ireland. During the summer months, it averages around six hours of sunshine daily, and average temperatures are 15°C to 20°C. Occasionally, the mercury may climb to 30°C. The weather is often changeable, so do not be taken in by good weather in the mornings as it may not stay sunny all day. Conversely, if the weather is wet first thing in the morning, all is not lost; the skies may clear by the afternoon. An added bonus of visiting during the summer is that the days stay light until around 23:00.
Spring and autumn are good times to plan a trip to Cork, as the temperatures are pleasantly mild and the attractions are free from crowds. Expect showers and bright intervals and be prepared for what are known as ‘soft’ days; warm with fine misty rain that can last for hours. Ireland has a high level of precipitation year-round, so if you are here for more than a few days, you will almost certainly experience some rain. If you get an extended period of bad weather, remember what the Irish say: ‘it never rains in the pub’.
Winter can be an inhospitable time to visit, although it rarely gets that cold. Even in January and February, the average temperature is between 6°C and 7°C. The days are short and rain is frequent, so make sure you take a raincoat and umbrella. It’s also worth remembering that some restaurants and guesthouses close down around October and don’t reopen until Easter.