Weather guru Ken Ring, author of Predict Weather Almanac for Ireland, says although this summer will not be a wash-out, it won't be the long hot summer that was hoped for.
"Irish people should be optimistic about this summer. It is by no means going to be a wash-out but nor will it be a scorcher."
According to Ring, who lives in New Zealand, the end of May and the end of June will bring the warmest and brightest weather, but the period in between will be littered with showers and downcast weather.
"June will be the sunniest month overall, followed by August. The best weather is likely to be short and not too hot. The summery weather arrives in the form of a fortnight of sun from the last week of May onwards, then repeats a month later from the last week of June to the first week of July.
"A wet second week in June will bring rainfall levels to above average however."
Ring also believes that those in Dublin will benefit most from the good weather. "Over August only Dublin may be significantly drier-than-average."
But it is not all mixed news, as he believes the summer of 2011 will be "one to look forward to".
The weather sage, who has built his reputation after correctly predicting the weather in a number of countries over the last few years, says his principle for telling the weather is "logical" and based on the tidal flow.
"It is a well-known fact that the moon pulls the tides. There is 10 times more water in the air over the sea.
"Therefore the air is like the tide and you can judge the weather by these principles. I spent 10 years living by the sea when I was younger and my family and myself noticed that you could judge the weather if you knew the tidal patterns."
One of Ireland's more unusual forecasters, Michael Gallagher, who is a postman from Donegal, believes we are in for a surprise as a "very good summer lies ahead".
Gallagher, who bases his predictions on clues from nature, says there are tell-tale signs of warmer times ahead.
"Two things at the moment are pointing to my conclusion that it will be a great summer. There are still traces of snow on the mountains and still frost at night, and it has been passed down for years by those who watch the weather that when this lasts and there is a cold spell, it is paving the way for a very good summer."
After the warmest week of the year last week, Gallagher says the public should now wrap up well as a prolonged cold snap is on the way before June arrives.
"Last week was too hot for this time of year, and so the next few weeks are set to bring a decline and another cold snap."
Gallagher is keen to point out that there are "a lot of bluffers around" who claim to be able to predict the weather and says he is not one of them.
"These bluffers who say they will tell us what every day in the summer will be like don't know what they are talking about. The principles on which I base my predictions have been passed down for hundreds of years. Before the tsunami a few years ago, I saw the animals scarpering for the hills. There are always signs."
Because of this he says he cannot go into minute detail on exactly which periods will be brightest or warmest.
"I can tell it is going to be a bright, warm summer but there is no use going into individual temperatures. The warm spell should last for the majority of the three-month summer, and there is nothing to indicate there will be above-average amounts of rainfall," he says.
Ireland is set for a water-shortage crisis this summer unless there is major investment in infrastructure, according to one academic.
Conor Murphy, a geography lecturer in NUI Maynooth, says a warm and dry summer will leave many homes struggling for water, particularly in Dublin.
"In Dublin, there is a certain vulnerability to extreme events, and this is because you have the greatest density population in the country all reliant on surface water from the likes of the Liffey and the Dodder."
Murphy says there are currently only three to four days' supply of water at any one time in Dublin, and the summer could see a decrease of 40% in the availability of water.
"As it is, there are major issues. The fact is there is only a few days' supply of water should something go wrong, and if we do have a long, dry summer there will be an increase in demand and a decrease in supply of 40%.
"We saw how vulnerable we were during the cold snap and it is going to be the same when a warm snap comes around."
Murphy says the government must now make improving water infrastructure a priority before the situation becomes critical.
"Despite a number of reports which have been brought out over the last few years, there has still not been any attempt to address the problems with the infrastructure. In general, the water supply system is suffering in normal circumstances with a growing population rate.
"The government needs to give this priority before it gets to the stage where we are actually in an emergency," he says.
Last Sunday was the hottest day of the year so far, with the highest temperature, 19.6°C, recorded in Claremorris.
February itself was the coldest since 1986, and in some parts the chilliest in more than 40 years.
The south and southwest had the sunniest February for more than 40 years.
Last winter proved to be the coldest since 1962/63. The lowest temperature of the winter occurred at Mount Juliet in Co Kilkenny, where -16.3° was recorded on 7 January.
Yet in Valentia, it was the sunniest winter in over a century of records.
Shannon Airport recorded its driest winter since 1963/64.
January 2010 was the fourth-warmest globally since records began in 1880.
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