‘The exceptional weather is coming to an end’ - Met Éireann

Most of Ireland has had little or no rain over the last three weeks

People play a game of cards at the beach on Bull Island on a sunny day near Dublin this weekend. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

It has been as glorious a start to the summer as most of us can remember and the good weather is set to continue for the next few days at least.

However, Met Éireann is warning the “exceptional weather” will come to an end later this week.

Dublin recorded one of its sunniest weeks on record last week with some 80 hours of sunshine, the equivalent of more than 11 hours a day.

Firefighters battle a gorse fire at Howth Head in Dublin this weekend as the hot weather. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sebastian Keogh-Jennett (1) from Clontarf with his dog Cooper enjoying the good weather on Dollymount Beach in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Monday will be mild and dry in most places with a respectable 21 degrees in the midlands and east. This is cooler than of late and the sunshine will be more hazy, but still above normal for the time of year.

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Tuesday will be a similar kind of day and both days will be dry across the country.

A notable change is due on Wednesday. The bad news is that rain is forecast across the country for the first time in weeks: the good news is that this will be most welcome by farmers and Irish Water.

Sebastian Keogh-Jennett (1) from Clontarf with his dog Cooper enjoying the good weather on Dollymount Beach in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The rain will appear off the west coast on Wednesday afternoon and gradually extend across the country reaching eastern areas by nighttime.

Near drought-like conditions have been experienced across the country for the past three weeks. Dublin has had just 1mm of rain since June 1st and May was exceptionally dry with just a third of the average rainfall recorded for the month.

Most places had just trace amounts of rainfall in recent weeks. Even those places that had more normal levels of rainfall in the north and midlands only did so because of heavy thunderstorms last week.

There has been several gorse fires over the last few weeks in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains and the dry conditions have caused water shortages in the Skerries area of Dublin.

The Department of Agriculture has issued an orange “high risk” forest fire warning that remains in place until Wednesday, June 13th.

Firefighters battle a gorse fire at Howth Head in Dublin this weekend as the hot weather. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

They have asked public if they see a fire to not delay in reporting a fire to the fire and emergency services.

But rain is on the way.

“The exceptional weather is coming to an end but we’re not going down the tubes either,” Met Éireann forecaster John Eagleton said.

He explained the change in wind direction from south to west will mean a transition to cooler, more showery weather. Nevertheless, the temperatures will still be in the high teens and rainfall amounts will not be above normal.

“We’re not going to get lashings of it,” he explained. “It won’t be as sunny as it was, but it will still be very pleasant.”

Thursday and Friday will be mostly dry days with temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees - cooler because of the change in wind direction.

Mr Eagleton said rainfall amounts over the next 10 days will range from 15mm in the east and midlands to 60mm in the north-west.

Some rain is forecast next weekend as there will be more unsettled conditions and southwesterly winds. Monday next week looks like bringing a lot of rain across the country.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times