Postman examines Donegal wildlife, expects good summer

Met Éireann says sunny weather will last for few more days

Children run with their kites during the Dublin Kitefest at Dollymount beach in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Children run with their kites during the Dublin Kitefest at Dollymount beach in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

 

Following a wet and miserable May, the sun is starting to peek out from behind the clouds and warmer temperatures set to continue into next week.

Wednesday is going to be a dry and sunny day across Ireland with temperatures reaching 21 degrees in parts of the midlands. The warm weather will continue on Thursday in most parts of the country, however rain will develop in parts of Munster and Connacht in the evening.

It will be a damp morning on Friday across the southern half of the country but will clear through the afternoon. Rain will develop across Leinster on Friday evening but is due to clear by Saturday.

Temperatures will remain in the high teens and early 20s through the rest of week but are expected to drop over the weekend to between 13 and 16 degrees before rising again to the early 20s next week.

Met Éireann forecaster Gerry Murphy warns that although the weather outlook is good for the coming week, it is “absolutely not” an indicator of a good summer.

“The weather in Ireland is quite variable,” he said. “A couple of years ago there was a very cold spring and then a very good summer but one doesn’t necessarily follow the other.”

Donegal postman Michael Gallagher disagrees, saying all signs indicate we have a very good summer ahead.

Mr Gallagher, who has developed his weather forecasting expertise during his more than 40 years of working as postman, says a cold May is a strong indicator of a nice summer. His predictions are based on the behaviour of the Donegal wildlife, he says.

“Nature and animals are very knowledgeable, they know what’s going to happen with the weather,” said Mr Gallagher. “They have an instinct which we as human beings don’t have.”

He says sheep and cattle tend to retreat down the mountains in search of shelter when a cold snap is on the way. He added that the cry of the curlew bird is a traditional sign that rain is on the cards.

With no curlews audible and livestock exploring the upper plains of the Donegal hills, it looks like the good weather is here to stay, he says.

However, he warns that hot weather will inevitably bring heavy downpours and plenty of thunder.

As temperatures rise, Irish Water Safety has warned swimmers in lakes, rivers and on coastal areas to take extra care.

Swimmers are advised to always swim parallel to shore and remember that Irish water is often too cold for extended swims. Children should always be supervised while swimming and adults should avoid all alcohol before or during a dip.