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May was cold and wet - but a change is on its way

Temperatures will rise as the run of bad weather is set to end

A woman walks through a rain shower on May 31st in Saint Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Weather statistics for the month of May and for the spring just passed would appear to confirm what most of us suspected - it was wetter, colder and more miserable than usual.

Officially, the first day of summer from a meteorological point of view - June 1st - has taken over where May left off, with unseasonably cold and wet conditions.

“It couldn’t get much worse for the time of year,” admitted Met Éireann forecaster John Eagleton.

The good news is that the weather is set to improve.

The average temperature in May at Dublin Airport was just 9.6 degrees. The 30-year average for the month is 10.6 degrees.

Dublin Airport also had 50 per cent more rainfall than normal, with 90.5mm (the 30-year monthly average is 59.5mm), a pattern which was similar through most of the country.

A cold May

All parts of the country had a cold May. At Belmullet the average was just 9.8 degrees (11.2 degrees is the 30-year average for the month), Cork 10.1 degrees (10.9 degrees) and Mullingar 9.5 degrees (10.7 degrees).

At both ends of the country Malin Head 9.3 degrees (10.5 degrees) and Sherkin Island in Co Cork 10.9 degrees (11.7 degrees) both reflected how cold it was everywhere.

It was a cold spring nearly everywhere, with temperatures in March, April and May below normal in most places.

It was at least a degree colder than normal during each month at Dublin Airport, and similar patterns were observed throughout the centre and east of the country.

Westerly wind

Mr Eagleton said the cold weather recently has been caused by a westerly wind which has been dragging cold air down from the North Atlantic. However, the wind direction is set to change to a northeasterly direction, bringing warmer air with it from the Continent and a rise in temperatures.

Mr Eagleton said Met Éireann was forecasting temperatures of 26 degrees for next weekend at one stage, but its revised model is showing a much more modest rise in temperatures.

“We’re looking at temperatures in the mid to high teens, nothing great. Maybe towards the end of the weekend it might get up to 20 degrees, but the model has not made up its mind how it is going to go,” he said.

“The overall trend is for warmer weather. We’re going to lose those westerly winds and it will be less showery.”

In Britain, temperatures are expected to get up to 28 degrees in the south of England.