St Patrick to banish the bitter cold as mild day is predicted
ST PATRICK's Day revellers can leave the raincoat at home on Wednesday as Met Eireann predicted it could turn out to be the warmest day of the year so far.
Although rain will hit Munster and parts of Connacht late on Tuesday night, it should all be cleared for the following day when parades across the country are held.
Forecaster Evelyn Cusack said she was "optimistic" that the national feast day could be the mildest of the year, and while not "balmy", temperatures would reach a maximum of 14C.
"We're optimistic," she said yesterday.
"A lot of the times St Patrick's Day is cold and our heart goes out to the little kids walking in the sleet and showers but it looks mild this year. It could be the mildest day of the year so far with temperatures between 10-14C.
Ms Cusack warned: "It's not balmy. It will be breezy coming from the south, and there's always a bit of chilling effect to the wind but nonetheless it will be mild. We think it will be dry, with perhaps just a few patchy showers which will be short-lived.
"After such a long, prolonged winter into March, we're back into milder, Atlantic air. The cold weather has persisted into March, but for this week it's changed. There will be a lot of fine weather but some rain on Tuesday evening or night but it does look like it will be gone on Wednesday morning. Most of the parades should have fine weather."
But on Thursday wet and windy weather will sweep in from the Atlantic, to last until Friday.
However, it could clear for Saturday when Ireland hope to secure a Triple Crown when they take on Scotland in the last match of the RBS Six Nations.
Ms Cusack said there was "every chance" it could be dry.