Farming Weather Analysis
Thursday 14 December 2017 15:00
Last Saturday into Sunday brought some significant accumulations of snow and rain across the country with 1 ½ to 2 ½ times the usual precipitation. Since then the weather has been cold and rather mixed with showers of rain, hail and sleet and snow about. Heavy wintry thundery showers this immediate evening with some possible hail. Sleet and snow however is unlikely even though it remains cold, blustery and unstable. Scattered blustery wintry mix of showers into tonight too with sunshine and well scattered blustery showers the case tomorrow Saturday, most of which will affect the north and northwest; drier in other areas with winter sunshine. Cloud will be more variable on Saturday and although there will be a fair amount of dry weather there will be the odd shower about. Weather fronts will move in on Sunday with some uncertainty as to the exact totals from these systems. Drier weather developing into the early days of next week, though mid-week will see a spell of rain. Consequently rainfall totals should be around 1/5 of normal these next seven days.
Unsurprisingly average air temperatures this past week were 2 to 4 degrees below normal. Soil temperatures have a much slower reaction rate, nonetheless soil temperatures have caught up and are currently running 0.5 to 1.5 degrees below normal. The rest of the week will continue cold with below normal air and soil temperatures. By Sunday however a shift in wind direction to a southwest flow will see temperatures recover to more near normal. Into next week temperatures will further rise with relatively mild conditions in store. Temperatures will reach into the low teens locally, which will come as a relief after the recent cold spell. Frost free nights for the main on the way then too.
The sunshine has been quite varied over the past week. Well above average in the mid-west, but well below average in eastern parts and about coastal fringes of the southwest and north. Sunshine amounts will continue to vary over the coming week with the sunniest days signalled tomorrow Friday.
With mixed weather, very low temperatures and short days, there will be little or no drying over the coming days, despite the fact that Friday and Saturday look mostly dry. Some improvement however next week.
Opportunities for spraying will be limited.
Most soils are at field capacity or saturated at the moment. That will continue this week.