Silage season to kick up a gear as sunshine to bring an early taste of summer this week

Farmer testing the silage crop
Farmer testing the silage crop
Fun in the sun: Left, Liam Thompson (7) and his sister Aisling (5) at Sandycove, Dublin

Ralph Riegel

The silage season is set to kick up a gear as Ireland is set to enjoy the finest weather of the year to date, with spells of glorious sunshine and temperatures climbing to a balmy 20C.

Met Éireann has forecast that the fine weather of the weekend is set to extend and to improve for the next five days.

Farmers have been advised to make the most of the spell of fine weather - as next weekend is set to prove unsettled, with a return to spells of rain and drizzle.

Last week saw heavy showers or longer spells of rain in south and east coastal counties brought the past 7 day's rainfall 1.5 times above average in these areas.

Over the rest of the country it was drier than average particularly over Connacht with less than 2 mm of rain in parts here over the last week.

Much of the coming week will see high pressure dominate bringing predominately dry weather, with little or no rainfall until very late in the week or next weekend.

Tomorrow and Wednesday will see the finest of the weather conditions this week, with extended spells of bright sunshine, little cloud and no rainfall.

Temperatures will reach 19C and even 20C in some places - an entire seven degrees warmer than last Friday.

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Even overnight temperatures won't drop below 4C for the next few days.

Connacht and parts of Ulster will enjoy the best of the warm temperatures - with breezy conditions having a cooling effect in both the south and south-east.

"We have high pressure building from Sunday," forecaster Joanna Donnelly said.

"Thursday and Friday are also looking to be largely dry and with good sunny spells but there is just a chance of rain, particularly in the west, as well as isolated showers elsewhere."

However, temperatures will drop slightly in the latter part of the week - with Thursday and Friday likely to see a high of 16C or 17C.

By Saturday, there will be a return to more unsettled conditions, with spells of rain expected from the east.

Met Éireann stressed that while the amount of rainfall involved will be quite small, it will bring cooler overall temperatures.

Irish Independent