Spring at last? Mercury finally forecast to rise as warmth pushes up from the Med
WARMER weather will bring some welcome relief for winter-weary Ireland with temperatures rising to the high teens next week.
The UK is expecting a mini-heatwave with the mercury hitting as high as 25C thanks to warm winds from Spain and Portugal.
While we won't be basking in quite the same sunshine, the warmer temperatures will offer blessed relief after weeks of cold, wind and snow.
Some rain and cloudy weather over the coming days will eventually give way to higher temperatures from next Wednesday as well as long-overdue spells of bright sunshine.
Met Éireann said Ireland's weather would remain mild but wet until at least the end of next week.
"The further outlook from Tuesday on is for continued unsettled weather with rain at times, but temperatures rising to become warm later in the week," a spokesperson said.
Long range forecasts suggest that there will be spells of bright sunshine from next Tuesday or Wednesday, but Ireland won't enjoy anything like the glorious weather predicted for London, Kent, Essex and Surrey in Britain's south-east.
That means beleaguered farmers still face doubt as to when they will be able to get their cattle out onto the fields.
It is too early to say when we will enjoy a prolonged dry spell, but one Cork farmer, Dan Bourke, warned it will take at least two weeks of good, dry weather to prepare sodden land for grazing livestock.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed vowed that, if necessary, fodder import support measures would remain in place until June.
"If we had a normal spring, you'd have cows grazing grass or if you'd a normal late summer and autumn last year you'd have more fodder made," he said.
"I do not think it's time to dismantle our ambitions at all.
"What we have announced is a financial package until the end of the month (April)," he said.
"At the end of the month it will be reviewed and we will continue to support the transport costs with the co-ops for as long as is necessary.
"Judging from 2013 it started on April 20 and it continued right up until the June bank holiday."
The Cork TD said: "If necessary we will stick with it as long as that. But obviously we hope that the weather will give us a break as well."
We are surely to envy parts of Britain as BBC weather forecaster Simon King predicted that temperatures in southern England could soar to between 23C and 25C by the middle of next week.
From Monday, England will bask in glorious sunshine and Mediterranean temperatures.
Parts of the south could actually prove warmer than Spain, Portugal or Italy.
Met Éireann stressed that while Ireland would enjoy rising temperatures over the same period, the weather here would be far wetter.
And the country will first have to endure an unsettled weekend - today will see some spells of bright sunshine but it will be largely a dull day due to cloud cover.
Saturday will prove similarly overcast with the best of the conditions in Leinster and Ulster.
Monday will also see some dry conditions though parts of Connacht and west Munster can expect further heavy showers.
Temperatures will begin to rise from Tuesday.