During ancient Greek and Roman times, Ireland’s lush emerald island was known for its long frosty season.
The word “winter lover” may conjure up an image of someone who enjoys long winter naps. In fact, winter lovers are fans of Hibernia, Ireland’s classic Latin name.
The name is said to come from the Greek description of the land.The Alexandrian polymath Ptolemy called the island Joelnia in his atlas. geographia. The Romans probably noticed the similarity between this Greek form of the name and the Latin word. hibernation, means winter. (Think “hibernation” and “hibernation.”) Hibernia may be translated as “land of winter,” or, in poetic terms, “island of eternal winter.”
ireland winter landscape
MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NASAThe Aqua satellite captured this hibernation image on January 19, 2023. The clouds were mostly clear that day after an arctic air mass brought hail, sleet, snow and frost to the island. Snow accumulates at high altitudes.
According to the Irish Met Office, snow falls most often in Ireland in January and February, but snowstorms can occur from November to April. The white film tends to be temporary, and many winters pass without major snowstorms. However, more extreme winter weather can also occur. For example, in 2010, frigid Arctic air ushered in early winter. In even more distant history, a heavy snowfall in 764 is said to have continued for three months.
However, Ireland as a whole enjoys a mild climate thanks to the North Atlantic Drift, which transports warm seawater to higher latitudes. The water around the island tends to be coldest in February and March, which may result in a slower rise in spring temperatures and give the impression that winter never ends.
Advances in renewable energy
Winters don’t necessarily have a lot of snow, but they tend to be windy. From 2023 to the winter of 2024, sustained winds bring a green energy victory to the Emerald Isle. On 6 December 2023, Ireland reached a record high for wind power output on its national grid, with wind power meeting more than 70 per cent of Ireland’s electricity needs on that day. Ireland ranks among the top countries in the world for the proportion of wind power in its electricity generation mix. By 2022, wind power will account for one-third of energy production.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Michala Garrison using NASA EOSDIS LANCE and MODIS data from GIBS/Worldview.