Northern Ireland

Driest April in Northern Ireland in 37 years, Met Office says

Rain on window Image copyright greenphotoKK
Image caption This is the usual April view in Northern Ireland

It is said that April is the month of showers that brings about the May flowers.

Not this year, however, according to rainfall figures issued by the Met Office.

They show that April 2017 in Northern Ireland is on course to be the driest April since 1980.

May, so far, has followed suit with no rain from the beginning of the month until at least the beginning of next week.

Last month, 28.6mm of rain was recorded - it was 19.2mm in the same month 37 years ago.

April 2007 comes close though - with 28.8mm of rain.

Dry Armagh

Data also shows it has been the dullest April since 1997, with just 71% of the average sunshine for the month.

Image copyright sturti
Image caption But despite the lack of rain, it was not quite beach weather

Figures released by Armagh Observatory - which holds weather records dating back two centuries - back up the data.

Not only do they show that it has been the driest April in Armagh in 35 years, but it has also been the sixth driest since 1838.

The observatory measured 9.2mm of rain - that's about one sixth of the average April rainfall in Armagh.

The dullest April in 20 years was also measured at the station and the seventh dullest since sunshine records began there in 1881.