Coldest Week in Dublin

Last week was the coldest week for us since our move to Dublin. Some weeks this summer felt cooler, relative to normal temperatures and particularly relative to our US summers. Nevertheless, I am ready to declare the week of 6-12 January 2008 as the crappiest week of weather for the Bakkers in Ireland. I created a chart to prove my point: the blue columns indicate daily rainfall totals, the grey zone is the temperature, Weather Chart Jan 2008and the red line is average wind speed.

There was no snow last week. A little bit of snow-like substance fell from the sky, but it was more like hail or sleet. Snow doesn’t make “tick” noises when it hits the ground! And Anita did need to scrape her windshield two or three mornings, before driving into the pre-dawn darkness.

The story was much different for us on Saturday the 5th. We drove to Belfast. In Northern Ireland, and even the higher elevations of County Louth, the ground was lightly covered in snow. In the city of Belfast, the snow and slush stood in low piles along the streets, like a minor snowfall in Chicago. The roads were perpetually wet, as the snow on the tarmac was moved aside mostly by the tires of ordinary vehicles.

Back to Dublin: Last week, almost everyone still wore light coats, scarves, and sometimes a hat. I now believe that most Dubliners don’t own heavy winter coats. Lots of Southsiders have skiing gear, and a few wore their ludicrously coloured ski jackets on the coldest days. And the cold didn’t inhibit people from walking to get coffee and lunch. The early mornings were dead, as usual, but I didn’t notice any change in the number of pedestrians out at midday and in the evening.

Belfast was another story. Nearly everyone, including motorists, had heavy winter coats in the LLBean style, and stocking caps.

Anita reports that her co-workers believe the worst weather is yet to come, in February. I’m skeptical, especially given the gusty, rainy nature of last week. This week is gray and rainy, but noticeably warmer. And my maxim from the summer still works: There is sunshine every day, for at least a little while. The oppressive mat of dark clouds that sits over the American Midwest in wintertime just can’t resist the constant wind. As I walked around last week, I thought, “Coming here as a tourist during this week wouldn’t be terrible, especially if you adapted each day’s sights to the sunshine.”

I’ll finish with the immortal words of AndrĂ© 3000, “You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.”

1 Comment to “Coldest Week in Dublin”

  1. Dave said...
    17 January 2008

    I tend to agree, Will. I believe that cold and rainy, but not cold enough to snow, days are the worst. Then you get all wet and uncomfortable.