Farm Ireland

Sunday 25 February 2018

Kiwi weatherman offers ray of summer sunshine

But heavy rain is on the cards for March, April and September

Martin Ryan

It might sound fanciful, given the current near- Arctic conditions, but farmers will have the sun on their backs for the hay and silage harvests this summer.

This good news comes courtesy of New Zealand weather forecasting expert Ken Ring.

The New Zealander (right), who appears to have the Midas touch when it comes to predicting Ireland's weather, has forecast a dry period for the middle of summer, with temperatures peaking at around 25°C.

Unfortunately, the Auckland-based weather expert says the latter part of spring is likely to be wet. Indeed, rainfall for the year as a whole is expected to be above average.

In contrast, Mr Ring predicts that June will be one of the sunniest and driest months of the year, with lower than average rainfall and above average sunshine.

He says that September is likely to be the wettest month of the year, while October is forecast to rank among the driest months.

Mr Ring, whose weather predictions are based on the moon, accurately forecast last year's weather patterns, including the dry period at the start of June and the heavy rainfall for July and August. He also forecast fine weather for the last three weeks of September.

He claims that surveys on his weather predictions are showing an overall accuracy of more than 85pc.

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For the first time, he has produced a weather almanac for Ireland. The 446-page document gives a detailed day-by-day forecast for this year by region and county, with likely rainfall, sunshine and temperature for each of 15 named sites.

Mr Ring claims that the long-term indicators suggest that 2011 will be a drier year than this one, but significantly wetter and colder winters will be the norm from 2013 and there will be less variation between the seasons.

He also challenges the conventional theory on global warming and believes that some areas have seen temperatures fall rather than increase.

Mr Ring says changes to the manner in which jet streams have been operating are partly to blame for Ireland's poor summers of late.

"The usual situation is for the atmospheric depressions to remain closer to the North Pole. This allows warmer air to reach Ireland from the equator without some big system standing in the way.

"But lately these rivers of air have been more on the equatorial side, so Ireland finds itself catching cold air pulled down from the North Pole."

Predicting a somewhat better summer here, Mr Ring says that, in contrast, New Zealand is set to suffer a colder winter.

Irish Independent