Long Term Data Sets

Rainfall time series from 1850-2010 for Ireland.

Homogenisation and analysis of an expanded long-term monthly rainfall network for the Island of Ireland (1850-2010)

An Island of Ireland Precipitation (IIP) series covering the period 1850-2010 for 25 locations has been constructed by researchers at Maynooth University and Met Éireann. Such long-term series are critical for understanding past and emerging changes to the precipitation regime and the hydrological cycle. The resulting dataset provides the second-longest regional precipitation archive in the British-Irish Isles.

In developing the dataset researchers rescued data from the archives in Met Éireann’s library and combined them with previously available long-term records for stations on the Island. Attention was also given to compiling metadata for all stations. Following bridging and updating of stations, HOMER homogenisation software was used to detect breaks in individual series and to extend all series to a common period of record. Only breaks confirmed by metadata were subject to adjustment.

Assessment of variability and change in homogenised and extended precipitation records reveal positive (winter) and negative (summer) trends over the period 1850-2010. Trends in records covering the typical period of digitisation (1941 onwards) are not always representative of longer records, indicating the importance of long term records. Furthermore, trends in post-homogenisation series change magnitude and even direction at some stations. While cautionary flags are raised for some series, confidence in the derived network is increased given attention paid to metadata, coherence of behaviour across the network and consistency of findings with other long-term climatic series such as the England and Wales precipitation series.

This research was recently published in the International Journal of Climatology:

The homogenised and extended data for all 25 stations in the network, the Island of Ireland composite series and supporting metadata are available here

Please cite the original paper if using this dataset.

Composite Rainfall Time Series from 1711-2016 for Ireland.

A continuous 305-year (1711-2016) monthly rainfall series has been created for the Island of Ireland using two key data sources, i) a previously unpublished UK Meteorological Office Note which contains annual rainfall anomalies and corresponding proportional monthly totals based on weather diaries and early observational records for the period 1711-1977 and, ii) a long-term, homogenised monthly rainfall series for the island for the period 1850-2016.

Using estimates of long-term average precipitation sampled from the homogenised series, the new 305-year record is reconstituted and insights drawn about notable extremes, climate variability and change. The consistency of the series was evaluated using long-term observations and reconstructions of precipitation, temperature, circulation indices and the North Atlantic Oscillation. All sources were compiled from across the British-Irish Isles and screened for circularity.

Strong decadal consistency is evident throughout the record amongst all series in spring, summer and autumn. Strong consistency with other records strengthens confidence from 1790 onwards while the winter series is probably too dry during the 1740s to the 1780s. The new series reveals statistically significant trends in winter (increasing) and summer (decreasing). However, given uncertainties in the early winter record, the former should be treated as tentative. In particular we show that the years 1940 to present the period typical of available digitised records, is unrepresentative of long-term changes in all seasons. Although there are recognized uncertainties in the early record, it is concluded that the derived series offers valuable insights for understanding multi-decadal rainfall variability in Ireland, a sentinel location in northwest Europe and provides a firm basis for benchmarking other long-term records and future reconstructions.

A paper on this work has been submitted to Climate of the Past, data set available here.

Reconstruction of a long-term historical daily maximum and minimum air temperature network dataset for Ireland (1831-1968)

The Ireland Long-term Maximum and Minimum Air Temperature dataset (ILMMT) comprises 12 long-term and 21 short-term raw daily maximum and minimum air temperature observations registered across the island of Ireland in the period 1831-1968. Detailed station metadata on instrumentation, observation and observing practices are included in the ILMMT dataset to support quality control and homogenisation procedures. The reconstruction of the ILMMT dataset is the result of a collaborative research project between NUI Galway and Met Éireann.

The observations and metadata were rescued from handwritten meteorological registers in archive at Met Éireann, Armagh Observatory, National Botanical Gardens of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, National Meteorological Archive at Met Office, NUI Galway James Hardiman Library, Royal Dublin Society and Royal Irish Academy. In addition, newspapers, Daily Weather Report, monographs, scientific proceedings and transactions were employed for data rescue.

The daily air temperature observations were rescued through manual double-keying in order to minimise transcribing errors and to fulfil data accuracy. The first data-keying was completed by the authors and the second data-keying was achieved through a variety of methods. 145 secondary school students (transition year programme) as part of student-scientist partnerships under service-learning, 193 undergraduate students at NUI Galway, 12 students through the NUI Galway volunteering programme ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) and 7 members of the Irish Meteorological Society contributed to the second data-keying.

This research has recently been published in the Geoscience Data Journal http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gdj3.92

More information on the student-scientist partnerships can be obtained from:

Mateus, C.; Potito, A.; Curley, M. 2020. Engaging secondary school students in climate data rescue through service-learning partnerships. Weather (under review).

The ILMMT dataset is available below and also at edepositireland. Please note that this data set has not been quality controlled.

If using the dataset please cite the following article:

Mateus, C.; Potito, A.; Curley, M. 2020. Reconstruction of a long-term historical daily maximum and minimum air temperature network dataset for Ireland (1831-1968). Geoscience Data Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gdj3.92

Dataset Information

Long-Term Series

Birr Castle: 

Birr Castle second order station_1872-1911 

Birr Castle second order station_metadata

Birr Castle telegraphic reporting station_metadata

Birr Castle telegraphic reporting station_1921-1956

Birr Castle telegraphic reporting station_1880-1920

Blacksod Point & Belmullet:

Blacksod Point_Belmullet_1872-1920

Blacksod Point_Belmullet_1921-1956

Blacksod Point_Belmullet_metadata

Botanic Gardens Glasnevin Dublin

Botanic Gardens Dublin NLI series_1882-1952

Botanic Gardens Dublin NLI series_metadata

Botanic Gardens Dublin_1834-1958

Botanic Gardens Dublin_1880

Botanic Gardens Dublin_metadata

Fitzwilliam Square Dublin

Fitzwilliam Square Dublin_1871-1937

Fitzwilliam Square Dublin_metadata




Malin Head

Malin Head_metadata

Malin Head closed station_1955

Malin Head_1885-1920

Malin Head_1921-1955 data

Malin Head_metadata


Markree_ new screen_1953-1954



NUI Galway

NUI Galway_1851-1965

NUI Galway_metadata

Phoenix Park Dublin

Phoenix Park Dublin_1831-1958

Phoenix Park Dublin_1959

Phoenix Park Dublin_Bilham screen_1953-1955

Phoenix Park Dublin_comparison sheet_1856-1860

Phoenix Park Dublin_Larcom papers_1853-1855

Phoenix Park Dublin_metadata

Phoenix Park Dublin_not corrected_1855-1857

Phoenix Park Dublin_outside observatory_1842-1847

Roches Point

Roches Point new station_1955

Roches Point_1872-1920

Roches Point_1921-1956

Roches Point_metadata

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin_1840-1959

Trinity College Dublin_metadata

Valentia Observatory

Valentia Observatory second order station_metadata

Valentia Observatory telegraphic reporting station_1850-1920

Valentia Observatory telegraphic reporting station_1921-1943

Valentia Observatory telegraphic reporting station_metadata

Valentia Observatory_metadata

Valentia Observatory_second order station_1883-1909


Short-Term Series











Buncrana_9h & 21h_1850






Commercial Buildings Dublin

Commercial Buildings Dublin_1849-1858

Commercial Buildings Dublin_metadata







Dunmore East

Dunmore East_1850-1851

Dunmore East_metadata




Grafton Street Dublin

Grafton Street Dublin_1843-1849

Grafton Street Dublin_metadata

Innisgort Island

Innisgort Island_1851-1852

Innisgort Island_metadata



















Portrush_twice daily readings_1850

Royal College of Surgeons Dublin

RCS Dublin_1841-1857

RCS Dublin_metadata

Royal Dublin Observatory (Dunsink)

RDO Dunsink_1851

RDO Dunsink_metadada