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"Colder than average" winter predicted

Story by Olga Aughey

Friday, 10th November, 2017 4:56pm

It's been bandied about in all the headlines, 'Coldest winter in a decade,' but most reputable forecasters tend to stay away from making any long range predictions as generally the weather is just too unpredictable.

However, the team at Irish Weather Online (IWO) have said they do believe that this winter looks set be cooler on average than recent years.

"This winter will be somewhat colder than most recent winters, with frequent bouts of wintry showers on higher ground in northwesterly winds, a pattern that may bring more snow to Connacht and Ulster than most of Leinster or Munster," the IWO team said.

"I see some potential for a colder spell affecting eastern counties towards late January, but perhaps the more significant threat this winter will be a stormy interval setting in before Christmas and bringing a run of several rather strong storms in late December and the first part of January."

"There will be a fair mix of weather types overall not excluding some very mild days here and there. But the general trend will be a bit colder than average."

Speaking to local weather forecaster, Cathal Nolan of the Midlands Weather Channel, he says he is staying away from making any long range winter forecasts until next year, to see whether his own theory of how solar flares affect our weather pans out.

"I am favouring a more colder start to this winter than normal. There's a cold spell due to arrive towards the end of next week, and pushing on into the run-up to Christmas. But generally I wouldn't make any definite predictions."

For this weekend, Met Eireann have issued a status yellow rainfall warning for counties Offaly, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry, for tonight, Friday.

It will become wet everywhere tonight with heavy rain affecting much of the country; a clearance will develop across more northern counties later in the night. Lowest temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees in light breezes.

For Saturday, rain will continue for the bulk of the day and finally clear southwards tomorrow evening. Highs of 7 to 12 degrees with northerly breezes developing through the day.

Saturday night will become mostly dry with good clear spells developing. Lowest temperatures will fall to between 2 and 6 degrees with some grass frost. 

Sunday will be mostly dry and bright, with sunny spells. It will be cold, with Sunday night becoming very cold, with widespread ground frost. Minimum temperatures dropping to around -2 and plus 3 Celsius.

Monday will be mainly dry and bright at first, with frost and any mist or fog clearing quickly. Cloudy conditions, with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, will extend gradually from the Atlantic, but overall amounts are expected to be relatively small. Becoming breezy, with freshening south to southwest winds. Max. 10 to 12 Celsius. Monday night will be mild, with no frost, but cloudy, with outbursts of rain and drizzle, mainly in the northwest and north.

Further outlook: Changeable and unsettled weather continuing, with rain at times. Becoming windy after midweek and probably turning cold towards the weekend.

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