Blooming good fun . . . and no need for snow
PARTS of the country enjoyed higher temperatures than Greece at the weekend as we enjoyed one of the warmest Januarys in almost 60 years.
Johnstown Castle in Co Wexford recorded a balmy 12C on Saturday, the same as the Greek island of Rhodes.
At the same time Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, shivered at just 9C.
Today's forecast of highs ranging from 6 to 10C will put us on par with parts of Spain and Turkey where the mercury is not expected to go any higher than between 5 and 11C in Madrid and Istanbul.
The past 22 days of January have been some of the mildest on record, with above-average temperatures recorded at every Met Eireann weather station.
Temperatures at Valentia, Co Kerry, averaged 9.6C in January, the warmest recorded there since the mercury hit 9.7C in 1953.
And despite yesterday's designation as 'World Snow Day' by the International Ski Federation to celebrate all things to do with the white stuff, there is little chance we'll see more than a flake or two this month, according to Met Eireann meteorologist Eoin Sherlock.
We can expect double-digit temperatures to prevail during the day for the early part of this week, he said.
Today will bring daytime highs of between 6 and 10C although it will drop down to near freezing overnight in the north and northeast.
It will be even milder tomorrow with daytime highs of between 8 and 11C.
Temperatures will remain mild, between 8 and 10C, on Wednesday when rain moves in from the Atlantic. But it will get much colder on Wednesday night.
However, the mild weather is set to return again by Saturday.
The mild spell has led to an early blossoming of flowers with gardeners reporting their perennials, including fuchsia and daffodils making an appearance weeks ahead of schedule.