Long Range Weather Forecast For Ireland (26 December 2020)

TRENDS for the week of 26 Dec 2020 to 1 Jan 2021

-- Temperatures will average 2 to 4 deg below normal values.
-- Rainfall will average 50 to 75 per cent of normal with some taking wintry forms.
-- Sunshine will average near normal for late December.
-- It will often be quite windy especially near the Atlantic coasts.


TODAY will be windy with occasional rain, becoming rather heavy at times by afternoon and evening. Winds southwest to west 60 to 100 km/hr, except higher gusts at times near Atlantic coasts. About 5-15 mm rainfalls are expected. Some squally showers are likely by late afternoon and evening. Temperatures will be highest around late morning or mid-day (11-12 C) and will start to fall gradually thereafter.

TONIGHT will continue windy with passing showers, becoming wintry on higher terrain in the north. Winds westerly to northwesterly 50 to 80 km/hr. Lows 2 to 5 C.

SUNDAY ... Much colder with strong northwest winds continuing, 50 to 80 km/hr with higher gusts in exposed western counties, passing showers becoming increasingly mixed and wintry especially over higher parts of the north where snow may begin to accumulate. Morning lows near 2 C and afternoon highs only 4 to 6 C, feeling closer to the -2 to +1 range in the wind.

MONDAY will be windy and cold, with the strongest winds near Atlantic coasts where northwest gales 70 to 110 km/hr are likely. Somewhat slacker winds will develop over the east as low pressure drifts down from the north, for some parts of the day winds may fall below 40 km/hr as a result. Scattered wintry showers will be largely rain or hail near sea level, sleet or snow on higher terrain. Temperatures steady in the range of 2 to 5 C.

TUESDAY will also be quite windy and cold, with the stronger winds returning to all regions as low pressure drifts away to the southeast. Bands of wintry showers may begin to drop sleet or snow on lower elevations as temperatures fall slightly to the 1 to 4 C range. Winds northwest 40 to 70 km/hr with some higher gusts.

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY will continue cold, but not as windy, with wintry showers more isolated, and some longer bright spells. The clearer skies will allow overnight lows to fall below freezing, lows near -2 C and highs 2 to 5 degrees both days. Winds northwest 30 to 50 km/hr.

By late THURSDAY (New Years Eve) into FRIDAY (New Years Day), occasional light snow and very cold, lows overnight near -4 C and highs 1 to 4 C.

This cold spell shows little sign of weakening, or becoming more intense either, so we're stuck with marginal conditions for snow that will probably only deliver very much lying snow to hills, but there will be times when sleet or snow fall at lower elevations with a tendency to melt on contact near sea level.

-- Peter O'Donnell for IWO