We're basking in the sun... but Cork can only catch the rain

Ralph Riegel

WHILE the capital has been relishing scorching temperatures, the Rebel County has had to put up with grey skies and drizzle.

Dublin was set to continue to bask in Mediterranean-type heat today as Cork and parts of the south-west was enveloped in cloud, fog and drizzle.

Cork and parts of the south-west only enjoyed three days of sunshine -- Thursday to Saturday -- before clouds obscured the sun last Sunday.

Conditions worsened overnight on Monday with grey clouds and patches of light rain across Cork city and northern parts of the county today.

Temperatures dropped to as low as 13.1C at Cork airport yesterday.

Meanwhile, heavy clouds also ruined beach and barbecue plans in Kerry, Tipperary and parts of west Waterford.

But while the conditions brought gloom to holiday- makers and bathers, it was a God-send for farmers who have endured one of the worst April's in living memory in terms of grass growth.

Met Eireann warned that the south will continue to suffer from heavy cloud cover while northern parts of Ireland continue to bask in heat and sunshine.

The good news is that the majority of the country can look forward to a sunny bank holiday weekend with average temperatures set to reach 21C.

A record-breaking attendance is expected at this year's Bloom, the gardening and food festival which will run at the Phoenix Park.

The long-range forecast indicates some patchy sunshine returning to the south within the next fortnight -- though there is little likelihood of a return to the north African conditions last week which saw temperatures at Shannon Airport soar to 27C on Friday.