Wednesday, 18 March, 2020
Forecasts for Ireland
TRENDS for the week of 18 to 24 March 2020
-- The week will be generally rather cold (2 deg below average), dry and with a near normal division of cloud and sunshine.
TODAY will be partly cloudy in central counties, more overcast to the north and south, where two separate and weakening frontal bands will drop light rain at times. In the north it will be cold enough for this rain to turn to sleet or wet snow later in the day, that is not expected with the southern band which will weaken and fragment to a few showers. Eventually a few brighter intervals will appear in the south too. Highs generally in the range of 6 to 9 C but closer to 4 or 5 in some parts of Ulster.
TONIGHT will see partial clearing and frost will develop with lows -4 to +1 C.
THURSDAY will bring a mixture of cloud and sunshine, rather cold with east to northeast breezes. Some outbreaks of sleety light rain or mixed rain and snow could fall at times in Ulster. Highs 5 to 8 C.
FRIDAY will be a somewhat milder day after another frosty start, lows -4 to +1 C, highs 8 to 11 C mildest in Atlantic coastal counties. There should be some sunshine at times in most regions.
SATURDAY will be rather cloudy with areas of rain brushing the southwest coasts, possibly making some inroads further into Munster around the afternoon, but it may stay dry elsewhere, if rather overcast. Lows near 2 C and highs 5 to 9 C.
SUNDAY will be partly cloudy and a bit milder again, highs 10 to 12 C.
MONDAY should turn even milder in a weak southerly flow, some rain may brush the west and north coasts, highs 12 to 15 C.
Then the OUTLOOK for next week calls for a partial reloading of the cold high pressure but it may be a rather subtle change and with the growing power of the sun, highs may not fall much below 10 C as the slightly cooler northeast winds set in.
My local weather remained mostly clear and reasonably mild in the daytime (5-8 C) but quite cold at night (-5 to -8 C). If you get a clear evening, you can easily spot Venus very bright in the southwest after sunset. Meanwhile, Jupiter and Saturn are starting their big show for later this year, with the pre-dawn hours the only time they can be seen presently. Mars is also in the general vicinity in the pre-dawn skies. By this summer Jupiter and Saturn will be closing in on a very close conjunction (as seen from earth, they never actually get any closer than we are to Jupiter). That will be visible in midnight skies by around May and in the evening skies by the summer months. Faster moving Mars pulls away and won't be all that close by the main event, rising late in the evening by summer. As this event draws closer, I will post more details about when the closest conjunction takes place. But you can estimate it will be around late autumn, because we pass Jupiter on the inside track around July 14 and Saturn around July 20 of this year. With Jupiter moving faster in its orbit than Saturn, it won't take long for them to reach the same vector (allowing for the fact we have moved on a bit, their closest to a "sun-centered" conjunction will be a few days before we observe it from earth).