Wednesday 13 December 2017

Met Eireann: Nation spoiled by the heatwave

RESTRICTED ACCESS: Clare County Council has removed the ladders accessing Byrnes Cove in Kilkee, Co Clare
RESTRICTED ACCESS: Clare County Council has removed the ladders accessing Byrnes Cove in Kilkee, Co Clare


DON'T complain about the weather: it's not that bad. You were just spoiled by recent soaring temperatures. That was the message from Met Eireann this weekend as we begrudgingly pack away our buckets and spades.

In stark contrast to the recent heatwave, forecasters are predicting more rain after storms battered the country last week, marking a grim end to the freakish Mediterranean temperatures we were getting all too used to.

But Met Eireann insisted the current outlook is not all that bad, by our previous low standards, at least. "It's still very warm. The problem is that we all got used to very hot weather. So we think that this is bad. It's not," Met Eireann manager Hugh Daly told the Sunday Independent.

Although the scorching sun has gone, Mr Daly insisted: "There are still very good temperatures at the moment and we will continue to see them stay at, and above, 20 degrees Celsius, which is quiet good by Irish standards.

"We just feel it's gotten cooler because we became so used to temperatures in the high 20s – but what we are experiencing at the moment is still a good Irish summer."

Met Eireann said we can expect "a very varied and mixed week". "It will stay warm throughout," forecaster Vincent O'Shea said.

"Today is a very showery day – as bad as the showers we have seen last week or maybe even a bit worse.

"The Dublin area will fare best where we will have a lot of dry weather and decent sunny spells. But for the rest of the country there will be frequent and very heavy showers."

We can also expect more of the spectacular thunder and lightning.

"There is a high probability of seeing more thunder and lightning storms around the country.

"Munster, Connacht and the Midlands will see the worst of it," Mr O'Shea added.

"There will be a fresh cool start to the week – with showers that will be very sporadic by nature. Today will see temperatures hit 19-22 degrees while Tuesday to Friday is going to be very, very humid and mostly cloudy with not much chance of sun.

"Temperatures could get up to the mid-20s by mid-week with some outbreaks of rain and drizzle and extremely humid, murky weather. That will be the main feature."

Meanwhile, swimmers at one of the country's most popular bathing spots are livid after the local county council removed ladders leading to the water.

Bathers have been flocking to Byrnes Cove in Kilkee, Co Clare – a favourite swimming spot for the Munster rugby team and the late actor Richard Harris – for years.

However, Clare County Council recently decided to remove the ladders for heath and safety reasons, just as the heatwave kicked in.

Local man Len Dinneen said it has led to elderly bathers struggling to get in and out of the water by clinging on to the slippery rocks.

The council has sent engineers to review the situation, but Councillor Patrick Keane confirmed: "There are no plans to put the ladders back in at this point in time due to health and safety reasons."

Sunday Independent

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