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Sunday 25 February 2018

Don't celebrate just yet - no sign of 40 days of sunshine

Gemma Mooney (4) from Hollystown, Dublin, enjoys the sun. Picture by Gerry Mooney
Gemma Mooney (4) from Hollystown, Dublin, enjoys the sun. Picture by Gerry Mooney
At Killarney’s July Racing Festival were Rose of Tralee entrants (l-r) Rose Jenny Hanlon (Louth), Marie Ryan (Dubai) and Brid Madigan (Scotland). Photo: Domnick Walsh

Daniel McDonald

Yesterday was the feast of St Swithin, but weather experts are keen to stress that the dry weather is no cause for long-term celebration.

The popularly held myth that the weather on July 15 will persist for 40 days was rubbished by Met éireann.

Despite yesterday's dry conditions, forecaster Harm Luijkx said there could be changeable weather for the rest of the week, including wind, scattered showers and rain.

"It looks like we've seen the last of the heat unfortunately, no sign of that warm and settled weather from a couple of weeks ago returning. We have changeable weather on the cards. Yesterday was quite a pleasant day, but today could be quite different," he said.

St Swithin was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester who was famous for being charitable.

Legend says that as he lay on his deathbed he asked to be buried out of doors, where he would be trodden on and rained on.

After nine years the monks of Winchester attempted to remove his remains to an indoor shrine in Winchester Cathedral on July 15, 971.

It is claimed there was a heavy rainstorm either during the ceremony or on its anniversary.


This led to the oft-repeated British weather rhyme: 'St Swithin's day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain. St Swithin's day if thou be fair, For forty days will rain na mair."

"Weather is changeable around this time, and there's no relationship between yesterday's weather and weather going into the future," Mr Luijkx added.

Irish Independent

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