Met Office: Last month not even close to NI’s driest June

Jennifer Solomon with Grace Kelly and William Surgenor cooling down in the sea at Hazelbank Park during the sizzling summer weather. Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Jennifer Solomon with Grace Kelly and William Surgenor cooling down in the sea at Hazelbank Park during the sizzling summer weather. Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Northern Ireland experienced 35% less rainfall last month than in an average June, the Met Office has revealed.

But while the Republic of Ireland’s meteorological service, Met Eireann, has issued a ‘Status Yellow’ weather warning that continuing hot, dry weather will “exacerbate drought conditions” over the coming week, there has been no such warning from the Met Office.

Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said that while the last “notable rainfall” here was on June 19, last month wasn’t even in the top 20 driest Junes since records began in 1910.

“June 2018 wasn’t particularly remarkable compared to previous dry Junes,” she said. “Last month Northern Ireland saw 49.8mm of rain, but the driest June on record, 1921, saw just 11.5mm of rainfall.”

The scorching summer temperatures of late June and early July dropped considerably over the past couple of days, peaking in the low 20s yesterday. But the Met Office is predicting more fine, settled weather, at least for the next few days.

Looking at the latest forecast for Northern Ireland, Bonnie continued: “There is no sign of any significant rainfall within the next seven days, but towards the end of next week and into the weekend there are some signs that high pressure could start to break away and it could become a bit more changeable which may allow some rain into western parts of the UK, but at this stage confidence is low.”

While there has been no drought declared here, NI Water has urged everyone to do their bit to conserve water – in addition to observing the hosepipe ban, imposed last week as temperatures hit 30+C and there was a huge surge in water usage.

“What we don’t want is for people to become complacent, the hosepipe ban is still in place and will be for a while yet,” a spokesperson said.

“It will not be lifted until we are content we can meet the supply needs of everyone.

“The ongoing dry weather is out of our control and that means we unable to predict what the future holds for our raw water supplies, it is therefore essential we all look at adopting water saving habits as part of our day to day lives now and in the future.”