IRELAND is set for Spring-like temperatures of up to 15C this month as forecasters say a White Christmas is looking increasingly unlikely.
However, Michael Gallagher, the Donegal postman who predicts the weather by studying animals and plants insists we will get snow in time for the festive season.
Met Eireann says temperatures this week will be five degrees above average, with other forecasting services predicting a change in the New Year which could bring snow in early January.
While our temperatures will be akin to those normally seen in Barcelona at this time of the year – it was 15C there yesterday – we won’t get the same sunshine.
Mark Dunphy, editor of meteotimes.net, says December could prove to be the mildest in years.
“The pattern looks to remain mild or very mild through the Christmas holiday period, with a few unsettled intervals but rainfall generally a bit below average for December,” he said.\[Aidan McKay\]”Temperatures will probably vary between some days near 10 C and milder days of 13-15 C.
“Although the Global Forecast System model shows a colder trend by the 23rd with strong winds, my research indicates that it may stay very mild to about the 27th then it could turn fairly cold especially in the days around or after New Year’s Day with increasing chances for snow in the period around January 8 - 12,” added Dunphy.
The warmer weather this week is being driven by southerly winds and whilst it will remain mild, strong winds up of up to 100km/hr will develop from Thursday.
Met Eireann forecaster Siobhan Ryan said the past week had been very dull, with just half the normal level of sunshine and less than a quarter of the average rainfall.
“The coming week is going to be extremely mild with mean air temperatures up to 5C above what they should be for the time of year,” she said.
“However sunshine will be at a premium as the moist airflow continues from the south.”
The mild weather prediction however hasn’t put amateur forecaster Michael Gallagher off.
The Co Donegal man insisted last night we will get a White Christmas.
He has faced criticism recently, with TV forecaster Evelyn Cusack repeatedly insisting in the past few weeks that you can’t predict the weather by studying nature.
But mild-mannered Michael told us: “I said two weeks ago we would have a White Christmas and I’m sticking to that absolutely.
“All the signs are there in nature.
“It might be mild now, but it will turn in time for Christmas Day. I’ve no doubt about it.”
The 57-year-old’s forecasts three years ago cost bookmaker Paddy Power €70,000 as a rush of punters backed the postman’s predictions and snow did fall on Christmas Day.
Last night Paddy Power was offering 9/4 on snow in Dublin on December 25 this year.