Sunrise over the Castle on December 27th. The first three weeks of the month were cool with below normal rainfall, but it became very mild over the Christmas period. The temperature almost climbing to 14° on Christmas Day.
Annual Summary: The year 2011 was drier than normal with a total of 771mm of rain (94%). The mean temperature for the year was 10.3 (almost 1 degree above the 1961-1990 norm). The warmest day of the year occured on 3rd June when the temperature reached 25.5°. The 22nd of January was the coldest when it dipped to -6.1°. The wettest day of the year was October 24th when 42.3mm of rain fell.
The rising moon on the 5th November over the lakes at the Castlecomer Demense. There were some nice bright days at the start of the month - but as is usual for this time of year, the clear skies allowed some sharp frosts to form with a minimum of -2.9° on the 7th. The mild wet weather returned however and the month overall was almost 3 degrees above normal. Warmest since 1994. It was wet too with rainfall 136% of normal.
Autumn 2011 (Sept-Nov) was very mild and wet. In fact it was the warmest autumn ever recorded in Kilkenny with a mean temperature for the season of 11.8° (2 degrees above normal). Although there were plenty of dry spells early in September and October, almost 284mm of rain fell in total. This is 122% of the normal for autumn.
A decaying anvil cloud near Kilkenny, with Slievenamon in the distance on the 18th October. Prior to this date, October had been exceptionally mild with very little rainfall. A change to a northwesterly airflow brought a dramatic drop in temperatures and the first frosts of autumn. Overall it was a mild month with mean temperatures nearly 2 degrees above normal (warmest since 2006). Rainfall was a little above normal. The 42.3mm recorded between 10am Monday 24th and 10am Tuesday made it the second wettest October day (since 1958)
The misty river Nore near Bennetsbridge on the morning of September 30th. September was a warm month. There was some fine weather at the end of September, although it was misty at times. Shortly after this picture was taken, the heavens opened, giving a very wet last day of the month.Between the 30th of September and the 1st of October there was over 40mm of rainfall. The first heavy rains since early July.
Looking northeast towards Kilkenny on the evening of August 6th, as a passing shower produced an intense rainbow fragment over the city. Earlier at about 5pm, there was some thunder. August ended up a dry month with only 31mm (44% of the normal rainfall). It was also cool with mean temperatures 0.6 below normal.
Summer 2011 overall (June, July, August) was cool and drier in Kilkenny. It was the coldest summer in 25 years with a mean temp of 14.1 (0.5 below normal). 161mm of rain fell during the summer (93% of normal). It was the driest summer since 2006. The bulk of this rain fell before July 9th. Thereafter it was dry with only 44mm falling until the end.
A hazy moon rises over the castle on the evening of July 13th. It has been a cool and wet July but there were some very pleasant days mixed in as well.
Looking southeast towards Thomastown as a heavy shower passes through on June 9th. During this period cool air, which originated over Arctic regions, produced many such showers and brought a considearble drop in temperature. After a fine, dry warm start, it became cooler and wetter. It was the coldest June for 12 years, with 6 ground frosts. Rainfall ended up slightly ahead of normal.
Looking east near Danesfort, Co Kilkenny at distant shower clouds over fields of winter barley on May 13th. Unlike the dry April, May saw plenty of shower activity which promoted vigorous grass growth. Overall May was a windy month with rainfall a little less then normal. Due to mostly mild nights, the mean temperature was over 1 degree above normal - but the daytime temperatures were down. The highest temperature recorded during the month was a poor 17.5°C on the 2nd.
The silhouette of St.Mary's Cathedral against the Blackstairs Mountain on a typically showery April 2nd. Just a little further northeast over Kildare and Dublin there were some intense, thundery hail showers. April was a dry month and very warm. It tied with April 2007 in being the warmest April ever recorded in Kilkenny.
The M9 Bridge over the River Suir (aka "the Cat Flap"!) on March 2nd. The beginning of March began with some welcome anticyclonic conditions with pleasant sunny days and cold frosty nights. March produced many pleasant days with temperatures near normal overall. Rainfall was well down - just one quarter of normal.
In contrast to the previous months, February was mild and wet. In fact as early as the 9th of February, we had already received the normal rainfall quota for the month of February. This picture shows the still swollen river Nore, from the Ossory Bridge on the 12th.
Persistent fog for three days and below zero temperatures helped produce a fine coating of rime on the trees near Danesfort, Co. Kilkenny on January 22nd. Unfortunately, with air temperatures of -6°C and grass temperatures near -11°C, the important Gowran Park race meeting was cancelled for a second time. Apart from a mild, wet week in the middle of the month, January continued the cold, dry, sunny winter theme we have had in recent years.