Met Eireann is set to embrace social media with more tailored forecasts for Irish farmers.

This is according to Ray McGrath of Met Eireann, who was speaking at Teagasc‘s Future Weather, Future Farming conference in Ashtown, Co Dublin this morning.

“We will be rolling out new products in this area next year. It is a communications channel that we want to do more on.”

Met Eireann¬†plans to ‘re-analyse’ the past climate and to generate high-resolution gridded datasets of weather parameters to facilitate agricultural research. These new tailored forecast services for the farming community are set for next year, according to McGrath.

The weather expert also spoke on the past, present and future of Irish weather.

“Consistent with the global picture our records show a robust warming trend in recent decades. An increase in precipitation is also evident but this may be partly a feature of natural variability,” he explained in his presentation.

“Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns will impact on Irish agriculture but there is still uncertainty regarding specific details.”

McGrath outlined that seasonal forecasting is an active area of research at present.

“The skill of these forecasts for Ireland remains slight but they could have potential as part of a decision-support system.”

In terms of the fodder crisis, he said investigations are ongoing in terms of weather predictions.

“It is likely that the weather related to the recent fodder crisis could have been anticipated months in advance but it is important to investigate such events and improve our understanding of the climate.”

More than than 150 people are attending today’s Future Weather, Future Conference in Teagasc’s Food Centre in Ashtown, Co Dublin.

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