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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 16 September, 2019
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It's the first day of exams, but the sky is overcast (and the forecast isn't looking great)

This date last year year saw highs of 25 degrees.

Image: Shutterstock/Zack Hamilton

IT’S A DULL, dreary day across most of the country, with showers and heavy spells of rain in many areas. 

There will be more heavy rain tonight, especially over the north and west of the country.

What about tomorrow, you ask? It will be cloudy with persistent spells of rain. 

And the weekend? It will remain cloudy in many areas, with patchy outbreaks of rain. 

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. 

Today marks the beginning of the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate exams, with over 110,000 students up and down the country putting pen to paper after years of preparation. 

But while this is a very challenging time for students, for the rest of us it is meant to be a time of sunshine and the proper start of the summer. 

As sure as night follows day, warm, sunny “Leaving Cert weather” is meant to accompany the Leaving Cert. One of the few constants in Ireland’s ever-unpredictable weather patterns. 

An extensive search through TheJournal.ie‘s archives shows that this time last year those of us not doing exams were basking in sunshine and highs of 23 degrees.

In 2017, however, the Leaving Cert kicked off with overcast skies and drizzle, but within a few days that righted itself to temperatures in the mid-20s. We also had some of that fabled LC weather in 2016. 

This year, indications are that a spell of low pressure will continue into next week, with showers or longer spells of rain and temperatures only reaching the low to mid-teens. 

So, is this year an anomaly? Have we as a rainy nation just been fooling ourselves all along?

TheJournal.ie fact checkers looked into this last year. You can read the result in full here. In short, the claim, “Is ‘exam weather’ really an Irish climate phenomenon?”, was rated as Partly True.    

Basically, there was more sunshine than normal, but there was also more rain. 

This year, it’s looking like rain and clouds will be with us for at least another week. But, looking on the bright side, maybe students will be less distracted? 

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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