You know what they say about the weather in Luxor:  If you don’t like it, just wait 15 years.  I’m not sure of the accuracy of the report, but as mentioned in an earlier post, one local there said it had been that long since it had rained in Luxor.  When we were riding in the felucca at Aswan, the chief of the Nubian village was a little unsure whether it had been one, two or even three years since it had rained there, but he said it rained for quite awhile, about 45 minutes.  So, according to Met Eireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, what’s the longest drought in recorded Irish history?  37 days in Limerick in 1938.

As you can tell, Ireland’s climate is just a bit different than that of Egypt.  In Cork in 2008, total rainfall was 1340.5 mm, or nearly 53 inches of rain, about 10% more than normal (although from June through August, there were almost 18 inches of rainfall, or just over twice the normal amount.  As we said earlier, it was a wet summer) .  It was actually drier here near the end of last year and the first 10 days of 2009, but that “good” weather couldn’t last.  Even with the dry first third of the month, it rained nearly 8 inches this January in Cork, more than in any month last year.

Because of the first 10 days, it was a bit sunnier in Cork than normal for January, but that’s relative, of course.  According to Met Eireann, there are on average just over 1 ½ hours of sunshine per day in Cork in December and it’s not much better by January.  Met Eireann notes that year-round, “Irish skies are completely covered by cloud for well over fifty percent of the time.”

Met Eireann tries to make it sound like the weather really isn’t that bad here, stating, “The general impression is that it rains quite a lot of the time in Ireland but in fact two out of three hourly observations will not report any measurable rainfall.”  Yes, that’s right, it’s not too bad because only in one of three hours is there measurable rainfall.  Met Eireann goes on to say that “the average number of wet days (days with more than 1mm of rain) ranges from about 150 days a year along the east and south-east coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west.”

I honestly felt as if for nearly the last year here in Ireland I could not leave the house in the morning confident that I would remain dry the entire day.  Until this last weekend, when Saturday was guaranteed to be good weather, I can’t think of a single day since last spring when there wasn’t at least a threat of rain in the air at some point in the day (this weekend showed how relative a term “good weather” is, when one-and-a-half days of sun seemed like a wonderful break).  Of course it didn’t actually rain every one of those days, just most of them.