Dry spell set to give way to rain just in time for Harry Styles at Slane

Nesting birds need water, says Birdwatch Ireland

Concertgoers heading for Slane, Co Meath to see Harry Styles this weekend have been advised to bring a rain coat as the recent dry spell is likely to be replaced by more moist conditions.

Meteorologist Joanne Donnelly said Met Éireann’s prediction was that conditions around Slane will remain dry up to about 3pm on Saturday, but later on – the Harry Styles concert begins at 6pm – you can expect a shower or two, some possibly heavy.

The recent dry spell, which involved a high pressure system moving up from the Azores and keeping low pressure systems at bay, is now in turn being replaced by “a very strong low pressure” system which is coming our way via the Canaries and Portugal, she said. This new system has seen “nearly a year’s rainfall on Madeira” off the northwest coast of Africa.

However, she said by the time it comes to Ireland it will be bringing just showers and warmer, more moist weather, resulting in temperatures rising to the mid-20s, but with the more normal summer showers, some of which may be heavy.


Friday is expected to start warm and dry but occasional showers will build from the south and spread into western counties. It will however remain warm, with night-time temperatures in the mid-teens for much of the night, coolest in the north with lows of 11 or 12 degrees.

Saturday will begin generally cloudy with scattered showers moving up from the south to many parts through the morning and afternoon, reaching the north later in the evening. Some of the showers may be heavy. Hazy sunshine is likely in advance of the showers. It will be warm, with highest temperatures of about 20 to 25 degrees, depending on the cloud cover, with a light southeast airflow.

Saturday night should be humid and very mild with showers continuing to spread northwards, but they will become isolated overnight, with some mist or fog forming. Temperatures are not expected to fall below 15 or 16 degrees for much of the night, with very light southerly breezes.

Sunday should see a mix of cloud and scattered showers but there will be some sunny spells too. Highest temperature of 20 to 24 degrees with little wind.

The news of impending showers was welcomed by members of Birdwatch Ireland, who say the recent very dry spell has been hard on many species, including house martins and swallows. It is the height of the nesting season, when chicks need water for survival and mature birds also need it for cleaning their feathers.

Niall Hatch, head of communications and development, said the organisation has received many reports of house martins’ nests falling from the eaves of buildings as the material used to make the nests dries out and becomes more brittle. He also said the State’s 1.1 million pairs of blue tits would be feeding on more than a billion caterpillars at this time of year and, as a lack of rainfall reduced the numbers of caterpillars, the blue tits would be struggling. However Mr Hatch said a prolonged period of rainfall was equally damaging: “there is a delicate balance to be achieved,” he said.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist