Thursday 29 September 2016

Guru who forecast April snow dashes heatwave hopes

Claire McCormack

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

ACCURATE: How we reported the story last November
ACCURATE: How we reported the story last November

Summer has officially arrived but hopes of a summer heatwave, barbecues and trips to the beach have already been dashed by long-range Kiwi weather guru Ken Ring.

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He says summer 2016 will be “cool and unsettled”.

The forecaster — who last November predicted the wintry spells and snowfall in March, April and even into May — says we can anticipate an average summer, with occasional dry spells, “but nothing spectacular”.

He says this month will “deliver the sunniest spell of the year”.

He also warns of potential “flooding risks” in midland counties in June.

“Don’t get your hopes too high — summer will be cool and unsettled overall, earlier than expected with some good dry intervals, but no prolonged heatwaves.

“The highest temperature may be about 24C towards the end of May (28-29), then again sometime in the third week of August,” he told the Sunday Independent.

As for rainfall, the author of the Weather Almanacs for Ireland, says summer will bring average rain, average temperatures and below average sunshine.

However, it will be cooler overall in Leinster and Ulster.

Mr Ring says readers can calculate for themselves which summers will be warmer.

The New Zealander added that heat from the sun varies over a cycle of roughly 11-12 and 22-23 years.

“To work out warmer summers, let us remember the warm summer of 1995. Adding 11-12 gives us the pleasant summer of 2006, and adding 23 gives us that the next decent summer with long, dry periods will be 2018.”

Looking ahead, he says May will bring a dry spell in the second week, then a wet spell which dries up after May 22, then remaining clear until June 3.

“That is nearly two weeks of settled conditions which will be the best hope for summer, with the last week in May set to deliver the sunniest spell for the year,” he added.

June starts dry but turns unsettled for the rest of the month, with chances of rain within any three days.

“It will be wetter and cloudier than average, with temperatures around normal.  Although sunshine returns on June 21-25, dry spells are likely to be short-lived,” he said.

“For some in the midlands there may be flooding risks in the fourth week.”

July will be dry for about eight days for some of the second and third weeks (July 9-17), but mainly it will be a dull month, with occasional, passing showers likely to be heavier in the last few days.

“August is not too wet, with average rainfall, dull skies, and fairly normal temperatures. It will be wetter around August 12 and 26, and may be surprisingly warm around August 18,” Mr Ring said.

Although it brightens up in the middle and the last few days of August, he says “no useful dry intervals” are expected until September 5-8 and then again from September 28-October 3.

“The end of October through the first week of November brings some heavy rainfalls, but, overall, autumn will be warmer and sunnier than the normal. For some, first frosts will appear in the last weeks of both October and November.”

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