Saturday 19 April 2014

Warmer winter causing chaos for plants and beasts

A swan in the Phoenix Park, Dublin today.
Pic:Mark Condren
The Phoenix Park in Dublin recorded a high of 15.3C yesterday.Photo: Mark Condren

SEA lions at Dublin Zoo have gone off their food, snowdrops are coming up at the Botanic Gardens and people are still mowing their lawns.

The countdown to December 25 is well and truly under way but it's not feeling like Christmas outside.

Forecasters say temperatures have hit highs that haven't been seen since the 1940s.

At the Phoenix Park weather station in Dublin, a high of 15.3C was recorded yesterday. Temperatures last night were upwards of 11C.

Eddie O'Brien, a zookeeper at Dublin Zoo, said animals were making the most of the good weather by playing outdoors.

In particular, the sea lions have been tricked into thinking it's still autumn. They haven't been eating as much as they normally would.

"They're a bit off their food," Mr O'Brien told the Irish Independent.

Paul Maher, curator of the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, said the weather has caused some springtime plants to emerge.

"There's a blocking anticyclone over most of Europe that has stirred up very mild southerly winds," meteorologist Deirde Lowe said.

And the good news is the mild weather is set to continue today and into the weekend, although it won't be as warm or dry as it has been.

Irish Independent

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