Though not hit as badly as some coastal areas of the country, Offaly had to cope with a fair amount of stormy weather over the Christmas period. That stormy weather is now at an end according to Met Eireann forecaster Siobhan Ryan, who added that with below average rainfall and slacker winds expected, it’s unlikely water levels will remain dangerously high.
Ireland’s weather in recent weeks was influenced by a polar jet stream, which ran right across the country rather than to the north and dragged with it the wet and stormy conditions. A combination of strong winds, tidal surges and low pressures came together to cause widespread damage and flooding countrywide, though according to Met Eireann storms in December 1998 and December 1997 were more intense than those experienced of late.
Whether or not the most recent storms are a consequence of climate change is unknown according to forecasters, who say climate needs to be assessed over a number of years before it’s known what climate change might mean for Ireland.
Looking forward Ms Ryan says the stormy period is over, with more routine - but colder - winter weather to be expected in the coming days.
Today (Tuesday) is expected to include some gusts and one or two showers, but nothing compared to previous heavy winds and rain.
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday) will begin dry and bright with slack winds. Motorists should note there is a chance of icy stretches however. The day is set to be dry in the main, though heavy rainfall is expected overnight.
That rain is expected to clear for Thursday morning, when again icy stretches are a possibility. Thursday is to remain dry with moderate southwest winds and sunny spells. “I’d be surprised if you saw a shower,” Ms Ryan explained.
That changes on Friday, when a band of showery rain is expected to move across the country from the late morning or early afternoon. Sunday is also set to be wet, and windy in addition, while Saturday is likely to be the drier and brighter of the two weekend days.
According to Ms Ryan daytime temperatures over the coming days are likely to settle around five or six degrees Celsius, with nighttime temperatures moving to freezing or below by the weekend.