Forecasts, quackery and the predictions that never cease

Country Living with Francis Farragher

In the latter days of May, a colleague of mine recounted a casual conversation she had with a fellow bus commuter on one of our dank mornings at the end of the month. Admittedly, it was a pretty miserable and grey morning and the passenger remarked how she was looking forward to getting away from ‘this awful weather’ we were having.

The moral of this little tale is that weather is really all about the present tense. For the first four weeks of May, 2019 we hardly had a drop of rain, and yet when one or two wet days arrived, our moaning bus commuter put no stock at all in the past tense.

The other little ‘me rule’ about weather is location. If a weather front slips in over half the country and is stalled there, happiness prevails on one side of the line and misery on the other.

Mind you, I have to admit to feeling a little ‘brónach’ during some of the days during the first week of June when the first chore of the evening after returning from the day job was in putting down a fire.

It didn’t get any better through the week with the central heating switch also getting pretty regular flicks – the Tuesday evening of June 4 was especially raw, thanks to a biting wind from the North-West.

This time last year, the first two weeks in June maintained the ‘good run’ that we had through May, 2018, with Shannon Airport recording its highest ever, May temperature: 26.3° Celsius on the 29th.

The promising May that we enjoyed this year – that is up until the last few days of the month – however has been disrupted by a breakthrough of Atlantic weather systems just at a time when many farmers in the West of Ireland were about to ‘strike’ for their main cuts of silage.

Abbeyknockmoy weather man Brendan Geraghty, who has spent a lifetime in recording rainfall figures in his goblet, reported an almost negligible amount of precipitation for the first 25 days of May.

It had been on-course to being a record dry fifth month of the year, or very close to it, but all that changed in the last six days of the month when 1.42 inches (36mms.) of rainfall was recorded by Brendan Geraghty.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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