Optimistic ice cream boss whips up sweltering summer prediction

DUST down the shades and find that old sun cap because there’s a scorching summer on the way — at least that’s what the ice cream men believe.

Yes, it is time to forget all that scientific weather talk and trust the instincts of the ice cream experts.

Bosses at HB ice cream never stop thinking about fine days and this year they're praying for a sunburst.

Already they're certain there's going to be a heat wave next weekend with temperatures expected to hit the mid- 20s. Millions of choc ices are being whipped up to keep the sweating masses cool during a long hot summer.

Despite the mixed messages from the heavens in recent days, HB marketing manager John Concannon is determined the summer ahead will be as bright as his own optimism.

"The initial signs are good, a fine spring and a heat wave on the way. We try to predict the weather all the time but you can never be sure," he said.

When it gets hot nearly everyone in the country eats ice cream and about four million ices are gobbled up during a hot summer weekend.

"The weather makes a huge difference to sales and we haven't had a really good summer since 1995 and we're hoping for a repeat of that. "We can only see a few weeks down the line though," Mr Concannon said.

The Irish are some of the best ice cream eaters in the world and every person consumes an average of 10 litres of the stuff annually.

And if there's enough sunny days we might even climb two places to the top of the European ice cream eating league.

"We're actually top when it comes to eating ice cream outside of home, but Sweden and Italy are ahead of us on general consumption," he said.

However, there's no need to get the parasol out just yet, because the weather will be unsettled for the next few days.

Starting today and through tomorrow and Wednesday there will be plenty of showers, clouds and only some tiny glimpses of sun.

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