| 11.9°C Dublin

Freezing nights to come after sunniest January

THE big freeze has arrived, with temperatures forecast to plummet to -7C most nights this week.

But Met Eireann has also announced that Dublin Airport experienced its sunniest January since 1959 - but that doesn't mean it's been warm.

It was also the second sunniest January at the airport since records began 74 years ago, with a monthly sunshine total of just over 92 hours.

The figure refers only to the number of hours the sun shone and has no link to temperature.


The outlook for this week is for mainly dry, cold weather, according to Met Eireann.

"High pressure is covering the country, so it's giving a lot of dry, settled weather, but it will be cold during the day and at night over the coming days," said forecaster Eoin Sherlock.

He said temperatures will struggle today to recover from the hard frost of last night, and will be between 2C and 3C with up to 6C in coastal areas.

"There will be a slight increase in temperatures as we go towards the weekend," said Mr Sherlock.

"There is always the risk of a couple of showers developing along the north and east coasts. They could be wintry in nature, but for 99pc of the country it's going to be dry."

It will be another cold night tonight, with temperatures expected to dip to -4C.

However, the air pushing over the country will be milder come the weekend, with temperatures reaching between 6C and 8C on Saturday and up to 9C on Sunday.

"There will be an increase in daytime temperatures towards the weekend, but it will still be cold at night," he said.

Overall, last month experienced a mixed bag of weather, with most recording stations reporting their windiest January in up to 22 years.

Gale (force 8) and strong gale (force 9) winds were reported on nearly two thirds of January days, with storm (force 10) winds at some Atlantic coastal stations.

Last month also saw variable rainfall but near normal mean temperatures.