Ireland will experience an unusually warm end to the year, with forecasters predicting temperatures as high as 14 degrees Celsius on New Year's Eve as a tropical maritime airmass moves across from the southwest.
Met Éireann said conditions will also take an unsettled turn for the final days of 2021, with heavy spells of rain affecting most parts of the country this week.
Aoife Kealy, a Met Éireann meteorologist, said the jet stream will lie across Ireland or just to the north during this week, which will allow a tropical maritime airmass to push up across the island.
Quite unsettled over the rest of the week with spells of rain and breezy conditions at times. 🌧️🍃
Some drier spells too, especially tomorrow afternoon and for a time on Friday afternoon.
Becoming very mild from tomorrow as well with highs getting up to 14 or 15 degrees.📈🌡️ pic.twitter.com/3zdPsXgNPs
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) December 28, 2021
She said this will bring wet conditions at times through the week, as low pressure systems in the north Atlantic steer weather fronts across the country from Tuesday onwards.
These fronts will bring spells of rain to all areas through the week, with some heavy falls at times, which coupled with already saturated soils may lead to localised flooding. There will be occasional drier spells also.
Temperatures will be well above average from Wednesday onwards, with Met Éireann predicting daytime temperatures "to reach an unseasonable 12 to 15 degrees". It said current indications suggest the weather will stay mild to start the new year.
The warm and wet conditions come after severe flooding on Christmas Day caused “monumental” damage to property and infrastructure in the southeast.
The Government said it will offer financial assistance to households affected. Funding is also being made available for the repair work needed on roads and bridges.
Co Wexford was badly hit, with Co Wicklow also experiencing heavy flooding on Saturday.
Wexford County Council reported that one bridge at Wilton Bree had collapsed while another in Enniscorthy had been badly damaged.
TD Paul Kehoe, who lives in one of the worst-hit areas near Enniscorthy, said he had never witnessed such heavy rainfall.