Tuesday, 4 February, 2020
Forecasts for Ireland
TRENDS for the week of 4 to 10 Feb 2020
-- Temperatures will be 1 to 2 deg above normal values.
-- Rainfall will be 50 to 75 per cent of normal, however, most of that will occur on Sunday-Monday towards end of the interval.
-- Sunshine will be slightly above average too.
TODAY will be breezy and cold but with ample sunshine in many places, a few lines of wintry showers could develop from Donegal Bay inland on northwest winds of 50 to 80 km/hr, and leave a coating of snow on some hills in Connacht and west Ulster. Many places in the east and south will likely stay dry. At most, other places will see brief hail or sleet showers with a quick return to brighter conditions. Highs about 7 degrees but it may feel closer to freezing due to the winds, which will begin to moderate in the afternoon.
TONIGHT will bring on some localized frost under clear skies with a few remnant clouds in the north. Lows -4 to +2 C, the milder readings closer to the west and north coasts.
WEDNESDAY will see an increase in higher cloud layers but it will remain fairly bright even if overcast, and rather chilly as light winds will not mix down much of the warmer air that will be moving in aloft, so highs still around 7 to 9 C.
THURSDAY will become more densely overcast and there could be brief and slight falls of rain in some western counties, but essentially the pattern will remain dry for most parts, with morning lows 1 to 3 C and afternoon highs 9 to 11 C.
FRIDAY will become rather windy again (southerly 50 to 80 km/hr by afternoon) with a band of rain likely to move through by afternoon (west) and evening (east), after some lighter outbreaks in the morning. Morning lows 4 to 7 C and afternoon to evening highs of 10-12 C.
SATURDAY will be quite windy and a bit fresher than Friday as a slightly colder air mass replaces the rain with partly cloudy skies and a few passing showers, some of which could contain a bit of hail or sleet on higher ground in the north. Lows 1 to 3 C and highs 5 to 8 C.
SUNDAY is looking very windy and we are essentially on storm watch now, the main question is whether Ireland gets the full force of the gales and storm force wind potential, or whether it stays somewhat more moderate and the worst of it heads for Scotland instead. A very deep low is indicated on most guidance somewhere just north of Ulster but the exact severity of the outcome is not yet "carved in stone," however, would expect at the very least westerly winds of 70 to 110 km/hr and possibly as strong as 90 to 140 km/hr depending on track and your location (the north could get the strongest winds). Some squally showers are likely and high seas with coastal flooding seem more or less locked in as this westerly wind event has a long duration and fetch across the ocean. Temperatures will be in the 8 to 10 C range.
MONDAY could remain very windy as this weather system has a bit of a trailing second wave, so it will probably be similar to Sunday either way that breaks down.
TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY of next week will see no respite from windy conditions and in fact could produce a second storm of equal severity depending on the exact track of yet another deep low that should be somewhere near Donegal Bay by late Tuesday night.
And in the OUTLOOK, we have (you guessed it) more powerful storms and strong winds to watch, at that time range it's not really reliable enough to take the maps as more than general guidance but once these patterns lock in for a while, it's hard to see them changing much because it's a bit of a one-instrument band, the Atlantic with no competition is a force of nature that you know probably better than I do (the Pacific has its own way to rock so to speak).
Meanwhile, my local weather was quite tranquil for a change, sunny without much of a breeze, still quite chilly but tolerable by mid-day at about -3 C, after a start around -12 C. It's back down to about that now under clear skies with a half moon (really it's all there, I don't want to get into any arguments with the usual suspect).