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.
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.
Scans of the measurements recorded in observer’s daily weather log book can be obtained from the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium climate website going all the way back to 1794.
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. 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.
JLE Dreyer, the 4thDirector of the Armagh Observatory, standing beside the weather station in front of the Observatory building in 1888. On the roof can be seen a Robinson Cup Anemometer, as invented by the 3rdDirector, Romney Robinson following his recording of the great storm on 1839 in the Armagh weather log.
Length of the Armagh climate series for various meteorological parameters.
The Armagh Observatory Meteorological Station
The sunshine recorded in the Meteorological Station with the Observatory to rear.