Tuesday 24 April 2018

Finally! Here is when you can expect milder Spring weather... but it's not all good news

The Beast from the East brought unseasonal weather to the country. Photo: Fergal Phillips
The Beast from the East brought unseasonal weather to the country. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Ralph Riegel and Rod Minchin

Milder spring weather is finally on the horizon - but frost and ice will continue to pose a risk until next weekend.

Met Éireann confirmed that Ireland will bounce back from the 'Son of the Beast' as more familiar Atlantic weather slowly begins to push back the freezing winds from the Russian Arctic.

After temperatures sank to as low as -7C on Monday, conditions will improve significantly from today.

However, both gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) urged commuters to travel with care given that overnight frosts and potentially even black ice are possible up until next Sunday.

Snow will linger on areas of higher ground potentially until tomorrow.

"The forecast is still for overnight frost, so we are again appealing to motorists to slow down, allow extra time for journeys and be aware of the braking distance to the vehicle in front of them," a Garda spokesman said.

The bad news is that while conditions will be significantly warmer, they will also be substantially wetter, with showers dominating the weather from tomorrow.

"Wednesday will be a mostly cloudy day with outbreaks of rain and drizzle in the north-west spreading eastwards during the morning but staying mostly dry further south with just patchy drizzle," a Met Éireann official said.

"But the outlook is for unsettled conditions with persistent rain clearing to showery conditions and some frost towards the end of the week."

While today will witness cloudy conditions with spells of rain, tomorrow will see rain become persistent in most areas.

Temperatures will soar to an almost balmy 11C by Saturday, although the weekend will witness heavy showers in many areas.

But next week is expected to see another climb in temperatures as spring finally takes hold after an unseasonably long winter.

Meanwhile, new research suggested that extreme winter weather like the 'Beast from the East' could be linked to the solar cycle.

The study revealed that when the solar cycle is in its "weaker" phase, there are warm spells across the Arctic in winter and heavy snowfall across the Eurasian sector. Dr Indrani Roy, from the University of Exeter in the UK, said: "In spite of all other influences and complexities, it is still possible to segregate a strong influence from the sun.

"There are reductions of sea ice in the Arctic and a growth in the Eurasian sector is observed in recent winters.

"This study shows those trends are related and current weaker solar cycle is contributing to that."

The research looked at the 11-year solar cycle - a periodic change in the sun's activity including changes in the levels of solar UV radiation.

It can be linked with the polar vortex and Arctic oscillation phenomenon, which affects climate. It can subsequently influence weather conditions in Europe and Asia.

The study, called 'Solar cyclic variability can modulate winter Arctic climate', was published in the journal 'Scientific Reports'.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section