The mercury may have fallen below zero again in recent days but it’ll not be long until brighter and warmer days – we hope!
And if we get anything like last year as a whole it should not be too bad at all.
In fact, Armagh Observatory has confirmed that last year overall was one of the warmest ever recorded in Armagh!
The mean annual temperature was a very impressive 10.38 C.
The year, however, ended on a somewhat dull note, with December described as slightly wetter and warmer than average, and with the fewest hours of strong sunshine for any December at Armagh since 2011.
Taking the 12 months of 2017 together, the year as a whole was “much warmer than average, slightly duller and a little drier than average”, according to the Observatory.
And we saw “most but not all of the dry months occurring in the first five months of the year”.
Total December precipitation was 78.95 mm (3.11 inches) including 11 trace values, which is approximately 2 per cent more than the average December precipitation at Armagh.
The wettest day was the 13th with 19.6 mm (0.77 inches) of rainfall.
Snow, snowflakes or lying snow were recorded on six days, particularly around the middle of the month.
The mean monthly temperature was approximately 5.2 degrees Celsius, nearly 0.7 C warmer than the long-term (1796-2010) December average at Armagh and 0.3 C warmer than the most recent (1981-2010) 30-year average.
The warmest day (highest maximum air temperature) was 13.9 C on the 6th, followed by 12.6 C on the 23rd. The coldest day (lowest maximum air temperature) was 2.0 C on the 9th, and the warmest night (highest minimum air temperature) was 9.8 C on the 24th.
The coldest night (lowest minimum air temperature) was -4.2 C on the 11th. There were 19 ground frosts and nine nights with air frost (minimum air temperature less than or equal to zero).
With a total of 31.8 hours of strong sunshine, December 2017 recorded less than 80 per cent of the average number of strong sunshine hours for December at Armagh.
The sunniest day was the 15th, with 5.4 hours of strong sunshine.
This was the dullest December at Armagh for six years, that is, since December 2011.
Over 2017, is now ranked as the fourth warmest calendar year at Armagh since daily temperature records began around 1795.
The year was also slightly duller than average. With a total precipitation of 731.15 mm including 65 trace values, 2017 was approximately 10 per cent drier than the long-term (1838-2010) annual average at Armagh, which is 812.95 mm.