Sunniest July in 30 years but heatwave unlikely to return


Ireland has just enjoyed its sunniest July in 30 years, according to the Met Office.

Notwithstanding the leaden skies and torrential downpours suffered in the east in recent days, sunshine levels were the highest since the glorious summer of 1975.

Prospects for a return of the heatwave look dim, however, with the meteorologists predicting more cloud and some rain for the coming week.

Sarah O'Reilly of the Met Office said that during July "close to record temperatures" were measured at a number of stations on several days.

The highest temperature of 29.2 degrees was recorded in Kilkenny on July 11th and 12th. This was the highest seen in the county since 1989.

However, for many, the gloss was taken off the month's weather by the rain that fell on the east coast from Wednesday evening to Saturday morning. The equivalent of a month's rain in July fell on Rosslare in 48 hours, and almost as much was recorded in Dublin. The downpour caused the roofs of Dublin Airport and the new Dundrum town centre to spring leaks. Up to then, this July was the driest for 23 years.

Ms O'Reilly pointed out that the west continued to enjoy good weather while Dublin was deluged. She described the Bank Holiday weather as "disappointing" but said the situation was improving. "There was a lot of cloud over the weekend and the rain continued in the east through much of Saturday."

Today's forecast is for brighter conditions, although temperatures will remain pegged at a mediocre 20-21 degrees.

More cloud and some rain is predicted tomorrow, although it may brighten up later in the week. With the winds coming from the northwest, temperatures are not expected to rise significantly.