Long Range Weather Forecast For Ireland (1 January 2021)

High pressure is starting to build up closer to Ireland and is also connecting to other highs in northern Scandinavia and Russia. This will mean that the winds will slowly turn more to the northeast, settling in that direction (east to northeast) by about the end of this coming weekend. The weather will remain largely dry with a few weak outbreaks of mixed wintry showers each day. Today's batch will probably stay mainly over northern counties. Tomorrow could see a bit more widespread activity in the morning, as a weak trough moves south. 

By Sunday, the only potential for localized wintry showers will be sea effect streamers from the Irish Sea. One or two heavier snow showers are possible near the Wicklow mountains and south Dublin.

By about Tuesday the east-northeast flow could become strong enough and cold enough to produce some significant snow, but then this pattern will break down for a couple of days with low pressure heading south from near Iceland, to produce a reinforcement of the cold spell, and that looks fairly potent for the second week of January. Temperatures throughout this period will stay in a similar range, daytime readings of 3 to 6 C will be typical, and overnight lows of -4 to -1 C. Places with a lot of exposure to the sea could run a degree or two higher.

As with the past few forecast discussions, the situation continues to hold some promise (or threat if you prefer) of significant snowfalls and more severe cold, but the trends are just inching towards that rather than showing anything as dramatic as the signals we got in advance of the 2010 cold spell or the late February snowstorm in 2018. I don't think anyone following the weather would be surprised if something more dramatic developed at some point in this extended cold spell, but still no really firm guarantees (at least from this source).

Peter O'Donnell for IWO