Postman predicts halt to summer weather misery

A Donegal postman renowned for his ability to accurately forecast the weather using unorthodox methods today predicted an imminent halt to the summer misery.

Michael Gallagher, from the remote valley of Glenfin, will raise desperate hopes and sodden spirits countrywide with his confident forecast of a major change in the climate.

The 60-year-old soothsayer was handed down the age-old gift while doing his rounds among the last generation of families living high in the Blue Stack mountains.

“I’m very confident that the news is good. The signs are very, very good that there’s a big change on the way,” he said.

And, for the cynics, even Met Eireann agree that a “big improvement” is expected to the rain and drizzle that has marked this summer out as one of the worst in recent memory.

Mr Gallagher, a postman of 40 years, predicts the outlook by examining the habits of the existing weather as well as birds, livestock and even domestic pets.

“There’s 101 different signs but the ones to watch out for are the storks and the mist on the mountain,” he said.

“I was over in the Croaghs [The Blue Stacks] and I saw a lot of mist on the very top of the hills at around 6 o’clock in the morning.

“And second of all I saw a stork going up the mountains and that’s a very good sign. That’s the first time I saw that this year.

“Usually the storks are seen down around the rivers and they stay there. Once he goes to a stream up the mountain that’s a good sign.”

The Glenfin man who is known for predicting the weather a month, or even a season, in advance believes a big breakthrough will come during the quarter moon this week.

“It could be a week or two weeks of good weather and after that it will settle down. I’ve an awful hunch that September will be coming in nice too,” he said.

“I’m very confident that we’re coming into a nice spell of weather, out of this. I’m very, very happy with the signs. ”

The postman, who has written a book about his unusual methods, insisted he has been getting it mostly right for the last 20 years.

“I might have the odd hiccup on the way. You might get a freak thunderstorm like we had in Glenfin last month that caused a lot of floods,” he added.

Although Met Eireann is adamant no one can accurately predict the weather more than 10 days into the future it also signalled hope for the coming days.

“There will be an improvement this week,” said forecaster Jean Byrne.

“Certainly through Tuesday, Wednesday and probably Friday, it looks like a lot of dry weather, in fact dry in most parts.

“It may not be blazing sunshine all the time, and you could even get misty, drizzly conditions along the Atlantic coast, but really from Tuesday onwards most places will be dry and it will reasonably warm.”

She said the general outlook would be a “big improvement” on what the country has suffered for the past two months.

“No one can accurately forecast beyond 10 days ahead but it’s unusual for the weather to remain so unsettled for so long, so it’s almost bound to turn,” she said.

“You’d imagine there’d be good chance of an Indian summer. But it’s not what our computers are saying right now because they don’t go that far ahead.”

Mr Gallagher, whose internal computer does go that far ahead, said there was a “near enough” good chance of an Indian summer.

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