Galway still in line for long hot summer

Enjoying the sunshine by the Claddagh. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

WE could still be on course for a long, hot summer with our current heatwave set to survive into the second half of next week, according to the latest long-term weather predictions.

By early next week in Galway, we look set to have enjoyed a three week spell of weather where the maximum daily temperatures have all been in the low to mid-20s.

The final day in May (last Thursday) was the hottest of the year so far in Galway with the mercury hitting 25.8° Celsius in the Athenry Met Éireann station while on May 29, a temperature of 24.8°C was recorded.

Since the Wednesday of May 23 last, maximum daily temperatures at the Athenry station have all exceeded 20° Celsius, weather that has led to a flurry of activity on farms across the county.

Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Development Officer, Roy O’Brien, said that the grass growth over the past couple of weeks had been ‘phenomenal’ due to the dramatic rise in soil temperatures.

“Farmers really felt that they went through two Winters since last August but the difference in mood and morale –  that the good weather has brought – has been quite unbelievable.

“Once the sun shines and grass grows, it also helps to put money in farmers’ pocket but the impact of the good weather is even more profound than that – a good spell of sunshine and warmth really does put the smiles back on people’s faces,” said Roy O’Brien.

He said that in areas where there had been short but heavy downpours of a thundery nature, the growth process had been ‘driven on’ even further. “Maybe, I shouldn’t say it, but there are soils that could now do with a drop of rain,” said Roy O’Brien.

Met Éireann predict that the generally dry, warm and sunny conditions will prevail until mid-week, but with the risk, ‘here-and-there’, of the occasional thundery downpour.

On a more long-term outlook, two of the ‘big players’ in the business of ‘further ahead’ forecasts – the BBC and ACCU Weather – predict that our current settled spell will come to an end, probably next Thursday, June 14.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.