Wednesday 25 April 2018

Hottest solstice in 56 years fails to trigger start of warm summer

The fine June weather brought a flush of insects that helped a pair of swallows with five hungry mouths to feed in a porch light at the Shed distillery in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. Staff are using an alternative entrance while waiting for the chicks to fledge. Photo: Brian Farrell
The fine June weather brought a flush of insects that helped a pair of swallows with five hungry mouths to feed in a porch light at the Shed distillery in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim. Staff are using an alternative entrance while waiting for the chicks to fledge. Photo: Brian Farrell
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

The Phoenix Park this year recorded its hottest solstice temperatures in six decades, but the heatwave was short-lived in an otherwise dreary start to summer.

The mercury soared to 28.6C at the park in Dublin on June 21, the highest recorded temperature there since 1961.

Yet less than a week later on June 26, temperatures plunged to as low as 3.6C overnight in parts of the country, including Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Despite the roller-coaster conditions, a much-welcome Azores High was responsible for bringing mostly dry, sunny and warm conditions to much of the country during the third week of June, according to Met Éireann's summary for the month.

But any hopes the spate of good weather signalled the start of a balmy summer were soon dashed the following week.

A low-pressure system brought rain and showers on most days for the first fortnight in June.

The end of the month was marked by lengthy spells of rain and "notably dull" conditions in a month marked by above-average rainfall in most areas.

Unfortunately, the first week of July isn't looking any better - with more mist and fog.

The conditions led to a dozen diversions at Dublin Airport on Monday night and are set to descend on most coastal areas in the coming days.

A slack area of low pressure, coupled with a warm and humid air mass, caused coastal fog to drift into the area around the airport for about two hours, according to Met Éireann forecaster Matthew Martin.

Unexpected

While the forecaster had said there was a "slight risk" of fog earlier in the day, Dublin Airport Authority spokeswoman Siobhán O'Donnell said the poor visibility and heavy fog that shut down the airport's runways for a couple of hours were not "forecast or expected".

A total of 12 flights were diverted, including seven to Shannon Airport, three to Liverpool, and two to Belfast.

"Most of the aircraft arrived back into Dublin during the night," she said, adding that contrary to reports yesterday, there were no knock-on effects and flights resumed normally yesterday.

Mist and fog will persist on coastal areas for the next few days, despite warm, if not humid, temperatures between 18C and 23C today.

Sunny spells have been forecast for today, with a mix of cloud and hazy sunshine tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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