Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Thunder rolling in... but August is looking promising

Every silver lining has a cloud and Northern Ireland's is about to arrive when our long sunny spell gives way to thunderstorms.

The fickle old jet stream – the current of fast moving air found in the upper levels of the atmosphere – which has been positioned in the north leading to our recent hot weather is set to move back down south towards us, causing much more unsettled weather.

This July we have experienced our longest hot and dry spell since 2006, with temperatures tipping over the 30C mark in Tyrone last Friday, but this week thunderstorms are on the way, according to forecasters.

Brendan Jones from MeteoGroup said there were thunderstorms near Sligo, in the west of Ireland, yesterday and that this weather is coming our way.

"As the jet stream moves back towards us it will lead to low pressure, instability in the atmosphere and still quite warm weather, which are the perfect conditions for thunderstorms. However, there will be breaks in between this when the weather will be good.

"Temperatures will remain above average – probably sticking in and around the low twenties during the week and will dip into the teens over the weekend."

However, it's not all bad news as Brendan said he could not rule out another spell of hot, dry weather here in August.

One group of people that has enjoyed the recent hot spell for a more practical reason than the legions of sun worshippers is our farmers.

After losing livestock and crops to the icy cold temperatures we experienced at the beginning of the year, many are now reaping the benefits of the hot and dry temperatures.

Agri-contractor Stewart Killen said the sun has "saved" the farming year as there has been a growth spurt in the countryside, leading to new life and the drying of land that has been sodden for months.

"The sun has saved this farming year.

"We are also looking forward to the heavy downpours later this week after the long period of sun.

"This has been the best farming summer in a long time," he said.

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