The weather phenomenon known as the Azores high can make the difference between a summer to forget and one to remember.
So called because it originates in the Azores off the coast of west Africa, the high pressure area builds from the south and gradually settles over Ireland and the UK. It displaces the jet stream which usually brings with it Atlantic fronts and unsettled weather and is chiefly responsible for our soggy summers.
Met Éireann is increasingly confident that an Azores high will visit Ireland towards the end of next week, but, as with all Atlantic weather systems, nothing is certain.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) is showing temperatures steadily increasing towards the end of next week. On Friday and Saturday the winds swing around from a northerly direction to a southerly one sucking up warm air from the south.
Met Éireann meteorologist Paul Downes said this weekend and early into next week will be cool and unsettled.
“It is definitely trending at the moment towards warmer temperatures. We are looking more at the ECMWR which sees us getting into the mid-20s into the south of the country,” he said.
“The agreement of the models is [that the weather] is getting a bit better than this morning from midweek onwards. Azores highs generally stick around in the longer term. There is a tendency that if the high pressure gets stuck in for about a week that it tends to stay on a bit longer.”
Warm weather in July will make up for what has been a distinctly average June weather-wise with a lot of unsettled and cool and showery weather.
Forecasters in the UK are expecting very hot conditions in the second week of July with London reaching temperatures of 30 degrees.