Country basks as summer arrives
Rain on the way but Met Eireann says warm weather to return next weekend
THE country basked in sunshine yesterday as the official arrival of summer brought temperatures of up to 20C in some areas.
But forecasters last night warned sun lovers to break out the raincoats and the umbrellas as it's going to be wet over the next few days.
Rain is expected to sweep across the country during the week.
However, Met Eireann last night said it expected the good weather to return by next weekend.
"The weather hasn't completely changed as it will get warmer in the second half of the week," forecaster Vincent O'Shea told the Irish Independent.
"There are strong indications that it will get nicer at the weekend, with warm, sunny and dry spells."
Mr O'Shea said April was the warmest on record and predicted that this month could be the same.
"Temperatures this weekend will be up to 20C in the midlands and areas away from the coast," he added.
"Usually, May only has temperatures of 15 or 16C."
Met Eireann said that today would be breezy, with showery rain in Munster and parts of south Leinster.
This will move into some western and southern parts of Connacht and the rain will be heavy in places, with a continuing risk of thunder, especially in Munster.
It will be mainly dry elsewhere with bright or sunny spells, with the best of these in Ulster, but there will also be gusty easterly winds.
Highest temperatures will be 12 to 17C, the coolest of which will be in Munster and exposed eastern and northern coasts.
Tonight will be dry over Ulster and most of Leinster. However, showers will affect south Leinster, Munster and southern Connacht.
Some areas may be thundery in Munster and temperatures will lower to between 5 and 8C.
There will be further showers in Munster and Connacht tomorrow, but they will gradually die out towards evening.
It will be dry elsewhere with sunny spells, the best of these in Ulster and north Leinster.
Wednesday will be mostly dry and bright, but showery rain will develop in the west as the day goes on.
This rain will gradually spread across the country on Wednesday night and will be heavy in places.
Thursday will be a wet day in many areas with heavy showers or longer spells of rain and a risk of thunder.
Further spells of heavy and possibly thundery rain will spread from the south through Friday, with Munster, Connacht and south Leinster getting the heaviest falls.
Winds will be mostly moderate or fresh south-easterly through the week.
Daytime temperatures will range from 13 to 16C, while night-time temperatures will range from about 6 to 10C.