Sunday 26 February 2017

Hot tips for summer

Gemma O'Doherty

After three miserable summers in a row and the harshest winter in living memory, heaven knows we deserve a good dollop of sunshine over the coming months.

Just think what a long spell of bucket-and-spade weather could do for the national mood, and with a summer of flight cancellations looming, it would be some consolation at least to know we could take refuge on our own beautiful beaches without having to wrap up in thermals.

Long-range forecasts should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt, but one company who managed to correctly predict last year's washout and this winter's big freeze is confident that we're heading for a scorcher. And they think it will be a long one.

Welsh-based Positive Weather Solutions, which has carved out a reputation for accurate forecasting, is advising families to stock up on sun cream for what they say could be one of the hottest summers of all time. They're even hopeful it will stretch all the way into September.

According to the online forecasters, June will start off well, but mid-month, just as the school holidays start to loom, a spell of wet weather will land in time for Wimbledon.

No surprises there then.

But sit tight and keep the barbecue at the ready. Dare we say it, but early to mid-July is looking warm, followed by a period of humidity and heavy rain before ushering in that rarest of species, a sizzling August filled with long, unbroken bouts of blue skies throughout the month.

We shouldn't tempt fate, but their sun-kissed theories are backed up by the US Climate Prediction Center, which this week also warned that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1, will rival some of the worst in history due to the return of the La Nina phenomenon.

One organisation that is keeping its lips firmly closed on the matter is Britain's Met Office, which was left red-faced last year after admitting that their predictions for a barbecue summer were hopelessly wrong.

Even our own meteorologists in Glasnevin are secretly optimistic that a long, hot summer is overdue, if for no other reason than to even out the awful statistics of the past few years.

But even if the sun doesn't shine and we don't get quite the bikini weather we deserve, three long months of brighter mornings and lingering evenings are stretching out ahead of us as nature bursts into full bloom.

So pack a picnic, grab a map and find your own little piece of paradise away from the stressed-out mob stranded at departures.

We might not be blessed with tropical weather, but we are lucky to live on a gorgeous green island stuffed with quiet country lanes, rolling hills and fabulous coastlines.

These are the days to relish. In exactly one month, we'll have reached the mid-way point of 2010 and the nights will start slowly drawing in again.

Make the most of them, and keep your swimsuit handy, just in case.

Irish Independent

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