Alternative low-bandwidth version Skip to main content

Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Tuesday 22nd September 2020 16:00


Rainfall was well below average across the country over the past week with less than 3mm received at all stations. Many areas received less than 10% of their average rainfall for this time of year. Rainfall totals over the coming week will generally be less than normal for the time of year. However, some eastern and southern areas will receive more rainfall than normal. This is in large part due to persistent rainfall expected in these areas on Thursday, with other days in the coming week expected to see a more showery regime. However, there is a degree of uncertainty in the forecast for the coming weekend with a very mobile Atlantic pattern influencing our weather.


Mean air temperatures in the past week have generally been between 1 and 2 degrees above normal, though the north and east of the country have experienced temperatures closer to normal. Temperatures will fall this week with mean air temperatures in the coming seven days expected to be between 2 and 4 degrees below normal for the time of year. Mean soil temperatures over the past week have generally been between 2 and 4 degrees above normal for the time of year. With air temperatures expected to be considerably below normal in the coming week, soil temperatures are expected to fall closer to normal.


Sunshine levels over the past week have been well above average everywhere, around 146% to 193% of normal. Malin Head received the most sunshine at 49 hours (193% of its average). With more unsettled weather from Tuesday, sunshine levels are expected to be closer to or below normal. There will however be sunny spells despite the unsettled weather and cooler temperatures, with Wednesday, Friday and Saturday looking likely to bring the brightest spells.

Drying Conditions

Poor drying conditions are expected for the coming week with cool and unsettled conditions. Drying conditions on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday will be moderate with some dry spells between scattered showers but temperatures will remain below normal.


Showers or longer spells of rain along with moderate to fresh winds in the coming week will limit opportunities for spraying in most areas. Dry spells between scattered showers on Wednesday will offer some opportunities for spraying in the east.

Field Conditions

Soils are generally dry across the country, with only poorly drained soil in the far northwest the only soil close to saturation. Soils in the south are driest with soil moisture deficits (SMDs) of 20mm to 30mm. SMDs are smaller further north; between 0mm in the northwest and 20mmin the east. By the end of the week poorly drained soils will be saturated or waterlogged in much of the north and west. Elsewhere, soils will become wetter due to showers or longer spells of rain but they will generally remain trafficable.

Agricultural Data Graphs

Soil Moisture Deficits

Soil Moisture Deficits (SMDs) in (mm) are calculated for three classes of soil: well drained, moderately drained and poorly drained. For further information on how Soil Moisture Deficits are calculated, click here.

You are here: