By Mark Hilliard – Irish Independent August 15, 2011
IT’S been wet, windy and cloudy — so it’s not surprising to discover that Ireland is having its coolest summer in nearly half a century.
And unfortunately, as we edge closer to the end of the month, weather experts say there is virtually no chance of a late reprieve — the final two weeks of August are predicted to be equally disappointing.
Official data shows that the summer’s top temperatures haven’t been so chilly for 46 years — with forecasters branding the summer “a stinker”.
This summer the highest temperature of 25.5C was at Oak Park, Co Carlow, on June 3.
But that high has not been reached since — making summer 2011 the coolest since 1965 when a paltry high of 25.2C was recorded at Ballybrittas, Co Laois.
“This has been a disappointing summer for Ireland and with the remainder of the month looking somewhat gloomy, this summer really has been a bit of a stinker,” said Jonathan Powell of online international forecasters Positive Weather Solutions (PWS).
“It showed promise but delivered only sporadic bursts of good weather.”
Recent weak temperatures are making this month the coolest August in nearly two decades. Temperatures recorded at Cork Airport of 13.9C represent the lowest in August since 1992.
Shannon Airport recorded a similarly disappointing 14.8C average for the month, the coolest since 1993.
And according to Met Eireann, temperatures for August have been below average at six of the 10 weather stations around Ireland.
While the majority of stations recorded average or below average rainfalls in July, the month did prove to be colder than usual.
“Most temperatures across the country were between 0.5C and 1C below average,” Met Eireann noted.
“Dublin Airport reported its coolest July in 46 years with the mean air temperature of 13.8C while some stations in the south and south-west recorded their coolest July since 1988.”
And the coming week will be as wet as we have become accustomed to — with every day expected to offer a tantalising glimpse of sunshine before being undercut by rainy spells and showers, with temperatures never breaking the 20C mark.
With autumn just weeks away, it’s clear that Ireland can say an early goodbye to summer — and just keep its fingers crossed for a sunnier September.