St Swithin’s Day: Are we in for 40 days and nights of rain?

The next 40 days and nights in Ireland is going to be wet and miserable, if the St Swithin’s Day legend is anything to go by.

According to the legend, if it rains today, July 15, then the country is going to be hit with 40 days and nights of rain. If it stays dry then we’re in luck and the summer will continue.

The legend goes that St Swithin was a Bishop of Winchester in England and before he died in 862 he asked to be buried outside Winchester Cathedral, so that the rain would fall on his grave.

Swithin wanted to be buried as an ordinary man in the graveyard; not a big tomb but this is what happened.

However, several years later on July 15, 971 the bishop of the day moved his remains to a new tomb inside the cathedral.

A fierce storm developed while they were moving the remains and it then rained for the next 40 days, according to the legend.

These 40 days of rain were due to the saint being offended from being moved from the ordinary people.

Current indications show that it’s not looking great with the latest weather charts from Met Eireann showing rain over parts of the country.

rainfall swithin

Met Eireann has forecast for cloudy and misty weather today in many places, with patches of drizzle and fog lingering in some Atlantic coastal areas, but some hazy sunshine at times too.

More persistent rain is then forecast to affect the west and northwest coast later today. Top temperatures will range between 17 to 20 degrees, generally but up 23 degrees in any warm sunshine.

It will be misty tonight and the rain or drizzle will become more widespread for a time, along with extensive hill and coastal fog. However, it looks set to dry out in Ulster and Connacht later.