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Saturday 1 October 2016

It's official: we won't be seeing a white Christmas this year

Published 18/12/2015 | 02:30

'Water levels are also continuing to drop in Co Offaly and Co Westmeath, where council officials are still closely monitoring the situation and remain on standby'. Photo: PA Wire
'Water levels are also continuing to drop in Co Offaly and Co Westmeath, where council officials are still closely monitoring the situation and remain on standby'. Photo: PA Wire

You can forget about building a snowman as we won’t be seeing a white Christmas this year, according to Met Éireann.

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Speaking on Morning Ireland, Gerard Flemming of Met Éireann said "the chances of it snowing this Christmas are virtually zero."

"It looks like it is going to stick with this mild flow. It may get a little bit cooler by Christmas Day – we might see a bit of frost on the grounds on Christmas Day and Stephen’s Day but that’s about the extent of it. The chances of snow are very remote.

The temperature has been unseasonably mild in recent days and will remain so over the weekend with temperatures expected to hit highs of 13C and 14C over the weekend.

Mr Flemming said that the warm weather is affecting all of south-westerly Europe and are "untypical for this time of year".

"Temperatures are three degrees above the average temperatures of December thus far. The other side of that is that it has been very wet as warm air brings a lot of moisture with it.

"December rainfall totals have been well exceeded at most of our stations. Most are heading for double the average and we are barely at two thirds of the way through the month."

However, things may get a little cooler in the first week of January.

"From what we can see in January, temperatures will return to more normal levels. That would involve colder weather. There would be a regression as things  head back to more normal levels.  But that's not set in stone," said Mr Flemming.

Meanwhile, flooding victims in the southern half of the country have been warned to brace themselves for further deluges over the weekend, as forecasters are predicting more rain.

Areas in the south, including Cork and homes along the lower parts of the River Shannon, have been warned they are "still under threat".

Met Éireann forecaster David Rodgers said that while a lot of places would be "fairly dry" today, widespread rain would begin to develop overnight.

This comes after several weeks of weather warnings and heavy rain that caused rivers around the country to burst their banks.

"The rain will clear tomorrow morning, there will be some showers around after that, but a lot of places will be dry and bright. Although the rain will probably come back into the southern parts of the country later on," Mr Rodgers said.

Communities along the Shannon were yesterday told that despite rain overnight on Wednesday, the level in Lough Derg dropped marginally and the flow of water through Parteen Weir remains the same at 405 cumecs (cubic metres per second). "It is expected to remain at this level of discharge for the next few days," the ESB said. "This depends on the actual rainfall and the situation will be reviewed again."

Water levels are also continuing to drop in Co Offaly and Co Westmeath, where council officials are still closely monitoring the situation and remain on standby.

Irish Independent

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