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Big chill Met Eireann warn of 'colder than average' temperatures with risk of snow in coming weeks

The trend is that the rest of January and early February will be slightly colder than average,” Evelyn Cusack tells the Sunday World.

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A dog walker throws a ball on a frosty morning (Jacob King/PA)

A dog walker throws a ball on a frosty morning (Jacob King/PA)

A dog walker throws a ball on a frosty morning (Jacob King/PA)

IRELAND is set to be spared an arctic blast currently plaguing the UK, thanks to a weather front between this country and Britain.

But Evelyn Cusack warns this island is set to endure colder than normal weather for this time of year, with the possibility of snow in coming weeks.

Met Eireann’s Head of Forecasting is delighted her organisation can now give, for the first time, long range month weather forecasts for this country.

“The trend is that the rest of January and early February will be slightly colder than average,” Evelyn tells the Sunday World.

“What we can tell you that Scotland and the north or England are in the arctic airmass, but we’re not.

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A motorist driving near Auchterarder, Perthshire (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A motorist driving near Auchterarder, Perthshire (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A motorist driving near Auchterarder, Perthshire (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“This is due to the weather front between Ireland and northern Britain, and we’re on the mild side of the front and they are on the cold side.

“Where the two weather systems meet that’s where you get a lot of rain or snow. I think we are going to escape the worst of it but we are still in the middle of winter and getting a lot of cold air coming in from the Atlantic.”

The island suffered numerous showers this weekend and there will be a mixed bag of weather over the coming weeks.

“We started doing a monthly weather forecast from January 5, updated every Tuesday and Friday,” Evelyn tells the Sunday World.

“The week starting Monday will be dominated by low surface pressure with a stacked upper low in the upper atmosphere over northern and north western Europe, establishing a mainly northerly airflow across Ireland,” she explains.

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Swans on a cold morning  (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Swans on a cold morning (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Swans on a cold morning (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“There is signal for average temperatures this week to be a degree colder than normal for the time of year. Parts of the northwest will have drier than normal conditions, with elsewhere experiencing a little more precipitation than average overall this week. Southern areas will most likely have the highest amounts of precipitation.”

She then moves on to the week starting Monday January 25.

“This week looks to be unsettled on average. Low pressure both at surface pressure and in the upper atmosphere remain dominant throughout this week over northern Europe. Signal is for Ireland’s airflow to most likely be north easterly on average this period. There is a signal for precipitation to generally be higher than normal throughout this week, with the strongest signal on eastern and southern coasts.

“The northwest is signalled to have normal or slightly lower than normal precipitation this week. Average temperatures for this week are expected to continue to be around 1 degree lower than normal, but temperatures will be closer to normal for southern areas.”

Next up is the week commencing Monday February 1.

“Uncertainty increases for this period but there is a signal for low pressure south of Ireland to dominate which would continue to bring a north easterly or easterly airflow.

“Temperatures are signalled to be colder than normal across Ireland and Britain, suggesting that a cold airmass originating from Scandinavia may influence our weather.

“Indications suggest precipitation will be higher than normal in the east and south in this airflow, with drier than normal conditions elsewhere, further reinforcing the indication of a mainly easterly airflow.”

And finally, there’s the week starting Monday February 8 and ending on Sunday February 14.

“Confidence is low for this period, however there is a weak signal for pressure to be high to the north of Ireland, and a weak signal for low pressure to be the main influence over southern Europe. There is signal for precipitation to be average or below average throughout this week, with no strong signal for anomalous temperatures.

"A more settled spell of weather is suggested with high pressure possibly becoming established in the Atlantic or the north of Ireland.”

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