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Hopes of a sizzling July cool off as storms arrive

Hopes of a sizzling weekend were fading fast today with weather experts predicting rain, sun and thunder.

After the coldest June in almost four decades, any hope of a July scorcher is fizzling into thin air.

And forecasters are also warning us to keep the brollies close at hand following the wettest June in 18 years.

According to Met Eireann's Hugh Daly, the month got off to a good start with June 3 the warmest day -- but it was all downhill from there.

"There is no sign of anything spectacular, no sign of it picking up to any great degree. Like everyone else we live in hope," he added.

On the bright side, half a million tourists are expected to pour into Waterford Harbour for the magnificent Tall Ships Race spectacle this weekend.

The event was officially opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night as 50 tall ships arrived.

It's expected to attract 500,000 visitors over the weekend, boosting the local economy by €30m.

Over the next three days, there will be a mix of sunny spells with fog, mist and thunder affecting many areas.

The thousands of GAA fans who will flock to Croke Park on Sunday for Dublin's clash with Kilkenny may however be able to whip out the sunglasses -- for a short time at least.

Monday will see plenty of sunshine during the day with wet weather spreading over from the West later in the evening.

hnews@herald.ie