First Signs Of Spring This Week

GFS forecast for 850 hPa (1,500 m) temperature for 12UTC Thursday. Image courtesy of 

As a very mild meteorological winter comes near an end we are set to see some very mild days in the run up to March. Snow-lovers look away now.

February is a month that can produce some of the coldest weather of the season, but this month has not lived up to that title, and the past seven days have seen mean temperatures running from 1 to 3 °C above average. With the Azores high sitting nearby, mainly westerly winds have kept cloud cover enough to prevent some of the harsh frosts that can occur during this month, and the rest of the month should see mild temperature push that warm anomaly up further.

Today (Tuesday), the mercury rose above 13 °C in the northwest, with Finner's 13.1 °C its warmest day since December 26th's 13.4 °C. The coldest station was Knock Airport at 9.8 °C.

1 Finner 13.1 °C
2 Oak Park, Carlow 12.9 °C
3 Shannon Airport 12.8 °C
4 Mullingar 12.7 °C
5 Dublin Airport 12.6 °C
6 Gurteen 12.6 °C
7 Casement Aerodrome 12.5 °C
8 Sherkin Island 12.3 °C
9 Malin Head 11.8 °C
10 Ballyhaise, Cavan 11.7 °C
11 Valentia Observatory 11.7 °C
12 Belmullet 11.2 °C
13 Claremorris 11.2 °C
14 Roches Point 11.1 °C
15 Cork Airport 10.5 °C
16 Johnstown Castle 10.5 °C
17 Mace Head 10.1 °C
18 Connaught Airport 9.8 °C

With a warm southwesterly airflow for the rest of the week temperatures will remain well above average. Thursday looks like being the warmest day of the week, with 15 °C looking likely in some areas of the midlands and south, and even above 16 °C possible in the lee of higher terrain. With the sun's rays now back as strong as they were in mid-October, any breaks in cloud could make things feel very spring-like away from the stiff southwesterly breeze.

It looks like a brief cooler interlude through Friday before milder air returns over the weekend, and there is the chance of a repeat of this Thursday's temperatures early next week.