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Armagh Observatory says ‘dull’ April brought sleet, snow, ice pellets – and buzzards!

Armagh has just seen its coldest April in 27 years.

According to data released today (Thursday), by Armagh Observatory, it was slightly cooler than April 2012 and the coldest April at Armagh since 1989.

It was also slightly drier and duller than average.

And, during the course of the month’s weather recordings, the Observatory also ‘observed’ more activity than usual.

On Wednesday, April 20, buzzards were noted flying over the Astropark at the College Hill site.

That day, in fact, was the warmest in the month – the sixth highest April 20 on record in Armagh!

But the birds of prey were not put off by the overall miserable month that it was as they stuck around and returned for another ‘nosy’ just two nights later!

And why not?!?!

Here’s the scientific bit and all the details…

Total precipitation was 54.05 mm (2.13 inches) including one trace value. This was very close to the long-term (1838-2010) average April rainfall at Armagh (53.27 mm) and slightly less (94%) of the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average, which is 57.7 mm.

The wettest day was the 6th, with 7.5 mm (approximately 0.3 inches) of rainfall.

The mean temperature for the month was 7.04 degrees Celsius (44.7 F), approximately 0.83 C cooler than the long-term (1796-2010) average April temperature at Armagh (7.87 C) and 1.46 C cooler than the most recent 30-year (1981-2010) April average, which is 8.5 C.  The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 17.6 C, which occurred on the 20th. The coldest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was -1.5 C, on the 9th.

There were several quite sharp ground frosts, and particularly towards the end of the month a cool breeze established containing showers in which were recorded sleet, snowflakes, snow and ice pellets, as well as hail.

There were 21 nights with ground frost (minimum grass temperature less than or equal to zero C) and 5 with nighttime air frosts.

A total of 139.7 hours of strong sunshine were recorded this month at Armagh, which is slightly less than average for April at Armagh.  The long-term (1881-2010) April average is 156.8 hours and the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average is 142.8 hours.  The sunniest day was the 20th, which with 13.5 hours of strong sunshine is one of the sixth sunniest April days on record at Armagh, that is, since daily sunshine records began at Armagh on 21st April 1881.

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

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