Rainfall warning as ‘heavy, thundery downpours’ forecast
Motorists warned to be aware of flash flooding on roads
Saturday will see sunny spells and scattered showers.File Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times
Deer lying in the dry grass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Wednesday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
The weekend will see a return to wetter, cooler weather as the heatwave gives way to a more typical Irish summer.
Met Éireann says the entire country will see a “marked change” in conditions as low pressure begins to dominate our skies.
The forecaster has issued a status yellow rainfall warning for Friday night in Leinster as well as counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal and Waterford.
There is a risk of heavy, thundery downpours and rainfall accumulations of 25-40mm from 9pm on Friday to 9am on Saturday.
Showers will develop along the west coast on Friday morning and will extend eastwards in the afternoon, with highest temperatures between 18 and 21 degrees.
The rain will become heavy on Friday night, especially in the east and north.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has warned motorists in the affected areas to be wary of flash flooding on roads.
“Following the recent dry weather a build-up of oil and rubber deposit may have developed on the roads. After a long spell of dry weather these deposits mix with rainwater and the road becomes hazardous,” the RSA said in a statement.
The results could create greasy conditions on roads, and increase the risk of skidding, the authority said. The RSA advised all motorists to drive slowly and increase the braking distance between other cars when stopping.
“Flooded roads could be deeper than you think so do not attempt to drive through them, ” the RSA warned.
Saturday will see sunny spells and scattered showers and temperatures of 15 to 18 degrees.
Sunday will be very much the same, with the most frequent showers occurring in the northwest of the country.
Highest temperatures will sit between 19 to 21 degrees on Sunday.
The showers will become more widespread on Monday and will continue much the same until the middle of the week.
All is not lost, however, as Met Éireann says the current signal is for “a gradual rise in temperatures once again” towards the end of the week.
The forecasted rain will be a relief for farmers following the extreme drought of recent weeks.
Soil moisture deficits (the amount of rain which would be needed to bring soil moisture up to normal) are running at between 70 and 90mms in Leinster and Munster.
Forecaster Gerry Murphy said the soil needs “short bursts of moderate rain” rather than heavy thunderstorms to restore moisture levels.
However, it is unlikely this rain will be enough in the short term to stave off the possibility of a fodder crisis next winter.
Teagasc estimates that it will take at least four weeks for normal grass production to return.
The summer drought, coming after a cold spring, has made it an extremely difficult year for farmers, according to the IFA and some farmers have had to feed their cattle fodder which was saved for the coming winter.
“The current situation is unprecedented and is causing huge financial pressures on farms and huge stress for farmers,” its president Joe Healy said.