Bales of straw on a parched field in Kildare during July's heatwave. Eamonn Farrell
hot hot hot

Met Eireann confirm summer 2018 as one of hottest and driest in decades

According to the forecaster, the unusually warm summer was down to a shift in the north Atlantic jet stream.

IT WILL COME as no surprise to anyone, but Met Éireann have confirmed the summer of 2018 as one of the hottest and driest on record.

Data released by the forecaster has revealed that “absolute drought conditions” prevailed at all of its stations for 53 days between 22 May and 14 July.

Meanwhile, the highest average temperature this century was recorded in a number of locations, including Oak Park in Carlow, where it reached 16.8 degrees Celsius, the highest since 1995.

The highest temperature of the summer was recorded at Shannon Airport, Co Clare on 28 June, when the mercury hit 32.0 degrees, the hottest temperature in Ireland since 1976 and the highest in Shannon since 1946.

In Dublin, stations at the Phoenix Park and Casement Aerodrome recorded just 29 days of rain, while Cork Airport had is driest summer since 1962.

Only one station, Finner in Co Donegal, had an average rainfall that was not below usual averages for the summer.

However, the northern part of the country experienced cooler temperatures, while the summer began to cool as it developed, with August experiencing the lowest temperatures of the three summer months.

According to Met Éireann, the warm summer was down to high pressure due to a shift in the north Atlantic jet stream.

The report said: “Large blocking high pressure systems were the dominant feature of the summer. This kept the north Atlantic jet stream to the north of Ireland.”

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