Overview of Meteorology in Armagh

Meteorological measurements were started at the Armagh Observatory in 1794 and daily measurements began in 1795. They have continued uninterrupted ever since.

Temperature and pressure were recorded from the start, rainfall has been continuously recorded here since 1836, dry and wet bulb temperatures from 1838, the wind since 1843 and the daily max and min temperatures from 1844. A Stevenson Screen was installed in 1865, providing a controlled environment for temperature measurements from this date onwards. Find out more about the history of weather observations, along with some notable dates, or about the current scientific instruments used.

Data from 1853 onwards is held in the Met Office database. Much of the historic data for Armagh is also held at the Public Record Office Northern Ireland (PRONI), with start dates in the 1860s and 1870s for most types of data.

Records of measurements from the observer’s daily weather log book can be obtained from the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Weather Data Archive from 1838 onwards, with scans from 1794 onwards available on these pages. These records have been mostly calibrated between 1838 and 2000; see About the Data Archive and the publications for more details. We update our Astronotes blog with monthly press releases and other news here.

Today the site is hosted by the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and manual measurements are still taken at 9am GMT every single day, an unbroken record stretching back to 14 July, 1795. An unbroken string of weather observers has been recorded through the century, with many more people to thank for the current high quality of past and present data. Support from the Northern Ireland Department for Communities allowed an automatic weather station to be installed by Met Office engineers in 2018 to ensure that this record continues into the future.

The sunshine recorder and an automated weather station in the Meteorological Station in 2005, with the Observatory to the rear.

JLE Dreyer, the 4th Director of Armagh Observatory, standing beside the weather station in 1888. On the roof can be seen a Robinson Cup Anemometer, as invented by the 3th Director, Romney Robinson.

The Armagh Observatory Meteorological Station in October 2020.

Length of the Armagh climate series for various meteorological parameters.

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