Long Range Weather Forecast For Ireland (13 January 2021)

TODAY will see the last of the heavy rainfall in parts of north-central Ireland moving further east and into the Irish Sea. Some outbreaks of lighter rain may continue but there will be longer dry intervals, partly cloudy to overcast skies, some mist and fog especially on northern hills, and it will be quite mild, with highs 11 to 13 C.

TONIGHT an area of light rain will move in from the Atlantic and winds will gradually turn more westerly and then northwesterly, with slowly falling temperatures. About 5-10 mm rainfalls are expected with this, heaviest across central counties and later into the inland southeast. Lows about 6 C by morning.

THURSDAY the last of this secondary rainfall area will move off the southeast coast and the rest of the day should be essentially dry and a little cooler with highs 6 to 8 C in moderate northwest winds 30-50 km/hr.

FRIDAY morning will be clear and frosty especially in the eastern half of the country, lows -2 to +3 C, then clouds will slowly increase ahead of an area of rain expected to hit the west coast around late afternoon. Highs will reach about 5-7 C in most areas, 7-10 C on the west coast. The evening and overnight hours will become blustery with heavy rain at times, and winds southwest 50 to 80 km/hr. Temperatures will tend to rise in most areas rather than the usual fall expected at night, and may reach 10 C at around 0300h Saturday.

SATURDAY the cold front of this system will race through in the morning, clearing skies and turning winds westerly at about 50 to 80 km/hr, with possibly higher gusts especially near west-facing coasts. Isolated showers may develop in this windy regime and temperatures will be slowly falling through the day from morning values near 8 C to late afternoon readings closer to 4 C.

SUNDAY will be partly cloudy and breezy, rather cold, with passing wintry showers on higher ground. Lows near 2 C and highs near 7 C.

MONDAY one last mild sector in this series will race through probably during the first half of the day, with outbreaks of heavy showery rain and winds southwest to west 80 to 110 km/hr, then it will turn considerably colder and there may be some outbreaks of sleet or snow in strong northwest winds. Temperatures near 7 C at first, later close to freezing.

The OUTLOOK has become quite uncertain but most guidance does agree on a cold, rather dry pattern setting in for a few days. Almost anything could happen later next week as guidance splits into many different camps, some show wintry storms developing with this cold hanging on or trying to deepen slightly, others show a fast return to mild weather and rain. We'll have to wait a few days to get any real clarity on which scenario is going to win out, but expect mid-week temperatures to be on the cold side around 5 C daytime and -2 C at night.

Peter O'Donnell for IWO