'Moon reader' predicting a long, hot summer
Weather has dominated the agenda for most farmers over the past few weeks. However, what's the long-term outlook for the year ahead?
Well-known New Zealand forecaster, Ken Ring, who predicted the Arctic conditions which gripped the country through December, believes we could be in for a scorcher of a summer.
The weather expert is predicting a mild spring, after a very cold start to March. June will be wet but there will be two lovely fortnights of summer in May and September, as well as some scorching weather in July. Overall, the forecast for 2011 is for a drier than average year.
The welcome news has been released in a 450-page day-by-day almanac of Irish weather for 2011, which includes a detailed location-by-location breakdown for the entire country.
The Kiwi uses moon readings for his long-range forecasts. His weather predictions have been closely monitored by farmers in this country over the past four years.
"There will be a cold first half of January, then, after a very cold second week in March, a mild spring," Mr Ring predicts.
"There will be a slow start to a mild summer. However, the good news is there are three lovely fortnights to choose from in the months of May, July and September. July should be the warmest month. Mid-to-late summer and early autumn are likely to be the sunniest in 2011," he adds.
On the down side, he tips December should be the wettest month, followed by June. However, 2011 should drier than normal.