We dodge first snows of summer
WE may be lamenting the lack of any spring-like weather but Ireland has "dodged a bullet" as a spell of heavy rain – and even snow – hits the UK.
Met Eireann said it had been tracking the "nasty weather system" over the past few days as it brewed over the Atlantic.
Fortunately, it skirted past the south-west coast and we avoided the worst of the deluge that will hit southern England and Wales today.
And in remarkable weather for the middle of May, sleet and snow is expected to dust the Welsh hills and Pennines today.
Closer to home, it will be cool and showery with the chance of hail and thundery downpours.
Temperatures, which have languished several degrees below normal for weeks, will reach highs of just 10C to 13C over the coming days.
And there is more bad news for farmers as it looks like there will be no immediate let-up in the wet and cold conditions.
"It's a very cool and showery regime and it will be staying that way for the next while. At times, the showers will be heavy, with the risk of hail and thunder," said Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke. "Temperatures will be below normal, typically around 9C to 12C, although we might get 10C to 13C."
He said Ireland had "dodged a bullet" as the worst of the current bad weather system narrowly avoided the southwest coast and moved in over southern England and Wales.
"We've had some heavy showers, but it could have been a lot worse," said Mr Clarke.
"That weather system was coming off the Atlantic and could easily have hit us. Luckily we just missed it," he added.
Meanwhile, sunseekers hoping to jet off for some longed-for heat will be disappointed as the below-par temperatures are hitting many popular holiday "hotspots".
Temperatures in Lisbon, Barcelona and Nice are hovering around 20C, while in Izmir in Turkey it is just 22C. Typically, temperatures would be a few degrees above this by mid-May.
Back in Ireland, today will be another cool and fresh day, with a mixture of sunny spells and widespread showers, some of which may be thundery and include hail. Daytime temperatures will peak at 13C, before tumbling to between one and 5C after dark.
The changeable and unsettled weather will continue for the rest of the week, with temperatures below normal for this time of year.
Mr Clarke said the weather, which has been cool for weeks now, will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
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