By Nick Bramhill
Ireland has been warned to brace itself for a summer washout, after forecasters dashed hopes of a repeat of last year’s record heatwave.
The same meteorologists, who correctly forecasted both last year’s sizzling temperatures and the previous four seasons’ weather patterns, have predicted a dismal summer, which is likely to be “colder and wetter” than average.
Staycationers have been warned to pack their brollies rather than suncream and prepare for a “generally cool and wet theme” between June and August.
James Madden, meteorologist with Exacta Weather, said people should make most of the sunshine now, as his team’s long-range forecast showed a “mixed pattern of weather”, punctuated by just a handful of warm spells, most of which will occur in the first half of August.
Unlike last summer, which saw the country bask in its best sunshine for almost two decades, he predicted mercury levels will rarely hit the mid to late 20s this time round.
And to add to the gloomy outlook, he warned people to prepare for an abrupt end to the summer in mid-August, with “widespread and vigorous thunderstorms across parts of the country”, along with “the additional risk of some moderate to severe flash flood events” to end the season.
He said: “The summer of 2014 is likely to see a reversion to a colder and wetter than average summer overall.
“Some periods of warm and settled weather can be expected throughout this summer, in particular in the first half of August when many parts of the country could see temperatures ranging in the mid to high twenties at times.
“Some warmer incursions of weather are also plausible from the mid-month points in both June and July, in particular in parts of southern Ireland.
“However, a generally cool and wet theme can be expected to develop at either side of these potential warm spells, which would result in a more near average summer in terms of overall temperatures and overall rainfall amounts, possibly wetter and a little colder than average in some parts to the north and west, especially if the jet-stream decides to dominate with a more southerly track during the periods of expected warmth.”
However, it’s not all bad news for sun-lovers, as Mr. Madden said Ireland could expect sustained periods of “warm and sunny” weather next month, with temperatures peaking in mid-May.