Friday 23 March 2018

'Mini heatwave' to hit Ireland this weekend after coldest April in decades

Forecasts are predicting settled weather and temperatures rising to levels more typical for this time of year in the coming week
Forecasts are predicting settled weather and temperatures rising to levels more typical for this time of year in the coming week

Louise Kelly & Meadhbh McGrath

Prepare to witness a lot of pasty skin this weekend - sun is on the way at last after one of the coldest, dullest Aprils in decades.

Temperatures are expected to soar as high as 22C in a mini “Irish heatwave” that will finally shake off the miserable start to spring.

The best days are expected to be next Monday and Tuesday before conditions settle into proper late spring warmth, said John Eagleton of Met Eireann.

“It is gradually going to get warmer over the next few days,” he said.

“The charts are showing us it will reach 21C and 22C.

“It may not be as high in Dublin because the winds will be easterly, but certainly in the midlands and the west of the country, that is what we are forecasting.”

Despite a rather unsettled start to the spring months, the last few days have seemed to hail the approach of summer.

Mild - if not warm - continental air feeding over Ireland will boost the temperatures from Thursday onwards.

However, while the winter coat might actually be safe in hibernation this time round, the umbrella will not.

According to the national forecaster, some thundery rain is due to fall across Leinster and east Munster on Friday evening.

Look forward to a couple of humid nights with scattered bouts of rain, more so in the south and east as moderate northerly breezes will cool temperatures somewhat in the north and northwest counties.

But if it is a barbeque you've got on your mind, it would be best to wait until Sunday as widespread rain is forecast on Saturday morning.

This will be a cooler day of 11 to 16 degrees Celsius - warmest over Leinster - as rainfall keeps temperatures down.

A much drier day on Sunday will still have a chance of the odd shower - but the hazy sunshine will begin a few days of more favourable weather.

Sunglasses required for the last day of the weekend with the addition of a windbreaker early next week as breezes become slightly stronger.

The warm, sunny weather is sure to delight those of us who were forced to take cover indoors from hail showers and freezing temperatures over the past few weeks.

Official figures just released by Met Eireann confirm parts of the country suffered their coldest and dullest April for decades.

Air temperatures across the country were well below average last month, dropping as low as -3C in Sligo.

Dublin faced its coldest April in 27 years, with ground frost recorded in the capital on 23 days of the month.

The city also endured its dullest April since 1998, according to records from the weather station at Casement Aerodrome.

There was no shortage of April showers either, with the weather station at Dublin Airport reporting its wettest April day since it opened 74 years ago.

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