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The weather varies so much on the island that no blanket description of it can be made.

Overall the climate is moderate; it does not have the Canadian extremes of hot, humid summers and bitterly cold winters. Dublin, at the same latitude as Edmonton, has a climate much closer to Vancouver's.

More particularly, extremes of below -3 and above 26 degrees are rare. The coldest months, January and February have average temperatures between 4 and 7 degrees. The warmest months are July and August.

There could be a bit of rain anywhere on the island on any given day (wettest months are December and January), "patchy showers" being one of the more charming weather forecast descriptions. 'Irish mist' is another apt description since many 'rains' may require the removal of eyeglasses but not the raising of umbrellas. Other apt descriptions used are "showery rain", which is more frequent than "lashing rain". Violent rainstorms are even less frequent and electrical storms are a novelty. The island's west coast gets about three times as much rain as the Dublin area gets.

Winters come in varying degrees of 'damp' and 'cold'. But some Canadians living in Dublin, where snow is a rarity to be remembered for years, and in many other parts of the island as well would describe the winter as more like the cooler part of the spring that often lasts for a day or two in Canada as winter rushes into summer.

Winds are a different matter. From "blustery" to "gales", they are an Irish winter phenomenon that surprises many Canadian ex-pats.

Whatever the range of descriptions of an Irish winter, none would deny that it is mild enough that many types of plants/shrubs/bushes bloom through the winter months. Indeed, the Irish climate is such that there is something in bloom twelve months of the year.

Conveniently overlooking the precipitation that comes in the form of ice and snow in Canada and the fact that Canada experiences plenty of rain, some of it very heavy, spring, summer and fall, the Irish love to complain about their weather. They'd find it hard to believe that Windsor, Ontario, in 'the sun parlor of Canada' had 31 centimetres of snow on the April 23/24, 2005 weekend, following five straight days of above 20 degrees (and resulting in a 2004/5 accumulation of 225.1 centimetres, which ecliped 1969/70's record accumulation of 199.6 centimetres).

The ACCOMMODATION section of this site's LIVING IN IRELAND stresses the necessity of coming over before a move to find a place to live. Taking that advice to its fullest, visits in several seasons would be a good idea for those who can manage it to get a first-hand feel for the Irish climate (and at the same time, have a good holiday).

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