Met Eireann has issued a yellow weather alert in Ireland as temperatures continue to soar reaching highs of 85°F. Head of forecasting Gerald Fleming said there is no sign of the heat wave breaking until at least late into next week.
“Absolute drought” was announced following 15 consecutive days where rainfall was less than 0.1 mm at Met Éireann rainfall measuring stations. The high temperatures which have not been recorded since the summers of 1995 and 2006, could spark off thundery showers in the country, which would come as a much welcomed relief to many, reports the Irish Times.
Severe health and safety warnings have been repeated this weekend to a population not entirely used to such conditions. With a high volume of people cooling off at their local beaches, water safety has become a top priority.
“We have lost seven people in seven days,” explained John Leech, chief executive of Irish Water Safety told the Times, “We think that is a record since the 1970s to have so many people killed in one week. Almost two generations have failed to learn how to swim in open water.”
The Irish Cancer society also issued warnings, and reminded all those seeking to make use of Ireland’s unusually hot weather by getting a darker glow this summer that “tanned skin is damaged skin.” Everyone was encouraged to wear sunscreen, seek shade, and cover up in appropriate clothing.
Ken Ring, a renowned long-range weather forecaster from Auckland, New Zealand, predicted Ireland’s heatwave in March of this year, while conventional forecasters were warning of another summer washout. Met Éireann’s Harm Luijks poured cold water on the predictions at the time, telling The Irish Times; “When people like Mr Ring get it wrong you never hear from them, but when they get it right they shout it from the rooftops.”
But Ring was spot on with his predictions, even going so far as to foresee drought conditions in the months of July and August. He dismisses global warming as the cause of such unusual changes in weather, “I think it’s nonsense. There is no global temperature when at any moment half the world is in winter and the other half in summer, and half are in daylight and the rest are enjoying their night. With no global thermometer there can be no idea about warming. Plus, before the 1990s and digital technology, all, old, glass thermometers could not read tenths, and yet we hear the temperature rose by 0.7C over a century. In any case, we have only been taking verifiable records for about half a century at the most.”
He continued, “To now claim that climate is affected by car fumes, planting or cutting down trees, recycling aluminium cans, throwing out old fridges, lighting campfires — all leading up to some justification for levying carbon taxes — is absurd. Even cutting down all the rain forests in one day would not affect climate one iota. Weather is generated about eight miles up and impacts downwards and is not generated by what happens to be on the ground.”
Below are some interesting predictions for Irish weather in the years ahead:
- 2013 should have most rain and 2015 the least, with 2014 in the middle position.
- 2013 is likely to be the wettest for northern, central and western counties and 2014 wettest for southern and eastern counties.
- 2013 may be the best year for sunshine amounts, with 2015 the cloudiest, and 2014 in the middle position.
- For temperatures, 2015 may be warmest overall, with 2013 second warmest and 2014 the coolest.
- For wind speed trends, 2013 wind speeds will be greater than for 2014, which again exceeds 2015.
That means 2013 may be wetter, sunnier and windier than the two years following.