Showery and Windy for Christmas Week, No Snow Promised – Met Eireann

Wet BalesChristmas week will be a showery and windy week and current indications for Met Eireann suggest there’ll be no snow.

After widespread rain this morning, dry conditions with sunny spells will develop countrywide by afternoon, however, it said that early tonight, rain will spread from the southwest to all areas once again.

According to Met Eireann, it will be rather windy up to early afternoon, with strong and gusty, southerly winds veering westerly, but then backing southwest and moderating for a time.

There’ll be highest temperatures today, 9 to 13 degrees Celsius, mildest in the south, it said.

Rain will continue in all parts of the country tonight, with some heavy falls likely in the west and southwest, according to Met Eireann.

Southwesterly winds will strengthen everywhere also but it will be fairly mild and it said there’ll be lowest temperatures 6 to 10 degrees Celsius.

After a wet start tomorrow (Tuesday), rain will clear southeastwards across the country during the morning, with showers soon following.

Christmas Eve
Some heavy falls of rain are likely to occur in many places Wednesday however, on Thursday morning, Christmas Eve, the rain will soon clear, Met Eireann said.

It said that winds will veer westerly fresh to strong, and showers will develop as the day goes on, some turning wintry on higher ground.

Showers will continue in the west and north on Thursday night but elsewhere will be mainly dry, with slackening southwesterly breezes allowing ground frost to develop locally, it said.
Christmas Day
Christmas Day will start cold and bright in many places but cloud and rain will develop across the southern half of the country during the morning, according to Met Eireann.

The rain will move further north to affect all areas during the afternoon and evening, turning heavy at times, it said.

Winds will become moderate to fresh, it said, easterly in northern counties and this will keep it feeling cold there, but winds will be moderate to fresh, southerly elsewhere making it feel a lot milder.

Rain will continue in most places overnight into St. Stephen’s Day, Met Eireann said.

St. Stephen’s Day
According to Met Eireann, St. Stephen’s Day itself will remain quite wet until drier conditions develop in the evening and early night.

Southerly winds will strengthen on St. Stephen’s Day but it will be rather mild, with temperatures several degrees above normal everywhere, it said.

Sunday and the early days of next week will remain rather mild for the time of year but with ongoing fresh or strong, mainly southerly winds and it said there will be dry periods at first but spells of rain will occur thereafter.

Farm Incomes to Climb an Average of 5% Next Year

It was a year of contrasts for farmers, as 2015 saw buoyant beef and lamb prices, with incomes up on average €2,700 on the traditionally low-income cattle rearing farms.

Yet farmers with expanding dairy herds suffered an income slump as they were hit by fluctuations on the world markets.

“Mainly due to a 9 cent a litre or 24pc fall in milk prices, the average dairy farm income is estimated to have fallen from around €68,000 in 2014 to €48,000 in 2015,” said Trevor Donnellan one of the economists behind the ‘Outlook 2016 – Economic Prospects for FarmAgriculture’ conference.

Milk production surged 10pc this year since the quota barriers were lifted, with the expansion of Ireland’s dairy herd surging ahead of other European countries.

The farm advisory body predicted the average milk price would show a ‘modest’ recovery from 30 cent per litre this year to 31.5 cent a litre next year.

Teagasc economist Kevin Hanrahan highlighted a recovery in the beef market with the gross margin on cattle rearing farms up 37pc on the lows of 2014, and margins up 33pc in the high-cost cattle finishing business.

However, he warned beef prices were expected to fall next year with a lot more cattle on the ground following the expansion of the dairy herd.

Teagasc economist Thia Hennessy warned the weakening of the euro against sterling was a ‘double-edged sword’ for Ireland’s valuable agri exports industry.

“Over the last 12 months the two biggest issues for the agricultural sector have been exchange rates and oil prices,” said Ms Hennessy.

“This is a double-edged sword for the agri sector really as, on the one hand, a weak euro means our exports are quite competitive in non-eurozone countries, for example in the UK,” she said.
“We found the weak euro has inflated farm input costs that come in from outside the eurozone,” she added.

“The negative side of this is that lower oil prices has dampened demand for oil exporting countries, such as Middle Eastern countries that would buy our milk powders.”

Ms Hennessy said the Chinese economy has not performed as well as expected, with poor demand for milk powders, while Russia’s embargo on EU produce has also had a knock-on impact on prices.

Following three bumper global cereal harvests, prices for crops have remained low which has hit tillage farmers hard, but also delivered lower animal feed prices.

Teagasc’s Fiona Thorne said “phenomenal” crop yields this year helped boost incomes for tillage farmers. -Irish Independent 02/12/2015

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