We can continue to expect sunshine until Friday, with temperatures then expected to take a dip while the weather remains dry. Speaking to the Offaly Independent today (Tuesday), Met Eireann forecaster Joan Blackburn said the scorching temperatures, which reached highs of almost 20 degrees locally according to a weather observation station in Gurteen, have come our way thanks to "an intense anti-cyclone" over neighbouring Britain that is surrounded by clear skies devoid of cloud.
The anti-cyclone brought with it dry weather for Ireland, she explained, while the accompanying clear skies pushed the temperatures up leading to what she described as "wall to wall sunshine" for the country from late last weekend into this week. Temperature highs inland ranged from 16 degrees up to 20 over the past few days she added. Data from Gurteen's weather observation station shows a temperature high of 18.1 degrees on average on Sunday last, March 25. The station also recorded rain levels of zero. Today the average recorded temperatures there are 16 degrees Celsius. Similar temperatures are forecast for tomorrow and Thursday.
On Friday temperatures are expected to drop to about ten degrees, though rain expected in the north of the country is not expected to make its way to Offaly. In fact while Friday and next weekend won't be quite as warm as present conditions, Ms Blackburn said it should remain dry.
Data from Gurteen station reveals average March temperatures of eight degrees, compared to just six degrees in March 2011. Monthly rainfall is only slightly down on last year however, with 28.7mm recorded at the station this month and 29.8mm recorded during March 2011.