Canadian based climatologist Peter O’Donnell has dismissed claims that Ireland is in for another Ice Age winter – but snow will return after Christmas.
O’Donnell has told the Irish Examiner newspaper that the country will experience a mixture of rain, high winds and some snow but there will be no repeat of last December’s big freeze.
A specialist in long range forecasts for Ireland and Britain, O’Donnell warned of an ‘epic winter’ this time last year when he correctly predicted the heavy snowfalls and bitter cold that crippled the country in December and January.
“Winter 2011-12 looks like being quite an active winter and not lacking in wintry weather types, although not entirely dominated by them either,” O’Donnell told the paper
Warning those in isolated areas to prepare for an early winter, O’Donnell believes the real harsh weather won’t arrive until January in the main with the worst snow expected along the East coast.
His forecast, available on www.irishweatheronline.com, suggests that the current mild weather in Ireland will give way to winter at the end of October.
“Late October could be a lot colder than the past three weeks have been,” warned O’Donnell. “That colder trend may fade out for part of early November with another mild spell, but colder weather with some snow may then return in the second half of November.
“In general, this is not expected to be as dramatic as last year, and the severe cold is not expected to continue through most of December. There may be roughly equal spells of mild and cold weather with strong winds, some heavy rainfalls and some snow or ice.”
Basing his predictions on research into natural variations in atmospheric patterns, O’Donnell believes December will be a mixture of good weather with a cold snap just before Christmas.
January will suffer the lowest temperatures of the winter with plenty of snow and rain.
He added: “There are indications of cold spells with northeast or east winds that are often associated with snow in eastern counties, and in particular around Meath and Dublin and Wicklow.
“The week starting around January 8 could become stormy and cold enough for snow, although the south is likely to be milder with a precipitation alternating between snow and rain.
“This winter will be colder and more variable than most but I do not expect it to be as severe as last year.”