Long Range Weather Forecast For Ireland (24 January 2021)

 TRENDS for the week of 24 to 30 Jan 2021

-- Temperatures will average about 1-2 deg above normal, despite today and Monday being rather cold.
-- Rainfall will gradually accumulate to near normal values.
-- Sunshine will average 75% of normal.


TODAY will continue cold with more outbreaks of snow, sleet and mixed wintry showers. Caution advised this morning for icy road conditions scattered throughout the country after overnight snow or mixed sleety precipitation. The most significant chance for further snow will come in Leinster this morning to around early afternoon, as an interval of north-northeast winds allows snow showers to develop near the coast and perhaps as far inland as the midlands at times. Some further accumulations of 2-4 cm are possible. This is not going to be a particularly well-organized event and results are likely to be "hit or miss" in nature. Elsewhere, more isolated snowfalls are likely but the trend in west Munster due to somewhat milder temperatures there will be more towards mixtures of rain, sleet and snow on hills. Highs today will range from about 1-3 C in the north and east, to 5-7 C in the southwest.

TONIGHT will become partly cloudy to clear at times especially over the inland southern counties where lows could fall to about -5 C. Further north, more cloud is likely with mixed wintry showers, some snow accumulations on hills in Ulster. Lows here will be closer to -1 C.

MONDAY will bring mostly cloudy skies and outbreaks of sleet or light rain, with slightly milder temperatures developing in most areas, highs 4 to 7 C.

TUESDAY will produce bands of wet snow, sleet and rain, all moving slowly north as warm fronts gradually overspread all regions. Highs 4-7 C in the north and 7-10 C south.

WEDNESDAY will be breezy to windy with intervals of rain and milder temperatures, highs near 11 C. Rain may become quite heavy at times by Wednesday night into early Thursday (20-40 mm rainfalls expected).

THURSDAY and FRIDAY appear likely to continue unsettled with strong winds at times and further rainfalls, possibly mixing with sleet in the north as colder air pushes some distance south. Highs will range from near 5 C in the north to 10 C in the south.

The OUTLOOK calls for the unsettled weather to continue with frontal boundaries quite likely to stall out in some northern or north-central counties, with much colder air not far away over eastern Britain during the last weekend of the month and into early February. Not too clear at this point whether the more likely outcome eventually is colder or continued "battleground" scenarios as the Atlantic does not show strong signals of yielding to the slow push of colder air from Scandinavia (which is dependent on a source region further east in Russia and ultimately Siberia).

Peter O'Donnell for IWO