Irish News

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Heatwave set to continue until weekend

Breda Heffernan and Majella O'Sullivan

Published 10/07/2013 | 04:00

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Enjoying the sea and fine weather at Myrtleville beach, Cork
Teenagers enjoying the good weather at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin
Lucy Trench (6), from Dalkey, enjoys an ice cream at Sandycove
Lucy Trench (6), from Dalkey, enjoys an ice cream at Sandycove

KEEP that sun cream handy because the heatwave is set to continue until the weekend at least.

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The hottest temperature in the country today was 29.5C recorded at Shannon Airport. This equalled yesterday’s top temperature, which was recorded at Mount Dillion in Roscommon.

Although no Orange Alert was issued today, there is a chance that that Met Eireann could issue the warning if temperatures go over 30 degrees in the coming days.

Tomorrow and Friday promise to be more of the same with the clear sunny weather continuing and temperatures set to soar into the high 20s at least.

Met Eireann forecaster Harm Luijkx says that the extremely high temperatures will continue until Saturday when slightly cooler weather is predicted.

“It will be a little fresher in the north-west but Leinster and Munster can still expect temperatures of up to 25 degrees.” 

However, water restrictions have kicked in as local authorities around the country urged the public to conserve water as the hot weather puts supplies under increased pressure.

TV presenter and former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain was among those enjoying the heatwave when she arrived for work at RTE
Kids jump into the Grand Canal in Clondalkin
People enjoying the sunshine in St Stephens Green

Already some local authorities are restricting services at night-time in a bid to conserve dwindling reservoir levels.

Meanwhile, AA Roadwatch received a number of reports of tar melting on roads in the extreme heat.

Met Eireann says there will be no let up in the searing temperatures over the coming days – in fact, it is only going to get hotter.

It is expecting to upgrade its heatwave warning to an Orange Alert for the first time ever today as temperatures in parts of the country top 30 degrees. It issued a Yellow Alert earlier this week.

Dublin Airport also recorded an unusually warm 26C at its weather station where temperatures have never risen as high as 30C.

Figures show that yesterday was the warmest day of the year so far, which also means it was the warmest since the July heatwave of 2006.

And it doesn't stop there. Forecasters have warned temperatures are set to soar again today and 30C could be common in many parts.

People enjoying the sunshine in St Stephens Green yesterday
People enjoying the sunshine in St Stephens Green yesterday
Teenagers enjoying the good weather at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin
Teenagers enjoying the good weather at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin
Satellite images reveals virtually no clouds over Ireland (Image courtesy Met Eireann)

"Thirty degrees is quite likely today in parts of the west but it won't be widespread," said Mr Luijkx.

"It's a combination of the very warm air mass from tropical regions and the long periods of sunshine every day that's making the temperatures exceptionally high," he explained.

An Orange Alert is issued if temperatures top 30C. Mr Luijkx said this has never happened in Ireland before for heat, although alerts have been issued for wind and rain.

Even in July 2006, when the country basked in glorious sunshine, an Orange Alert wasn't issued as the colour-coded system hadn't been adopted by Met Eireann at the time.

The heat was building all day across the country as thousands headed to parks, lakes and beaches to try and cool off.

 

Click to see the hottest places in Ireland


 

 

In Donegal, thousands of householders had their water supply stopped last night as Donegal County Council said it was imposing restrictions during off-peak periods until further notice.

South Tipperary County Council is also operating night-time shut-offs from 9pm to 7am in a number of areas due to increased demand for water in the current dry spell.

Cork County Council appealed to consumers in the north and west of the county to restrict their use of water to "essential purposes only".

And Kerry County Council urged water consumers to avoid all unnecessary usage.

Dublin City Council has also appealed to consumers to continue conserving water.

Despite the concerns, the tourism and retail industries are enjoying a bumper July so far.

Strawberries, burgers and sun cream are flying off the shelves as the heatwave sparks massive sales of the summer essentials.

Meanwhile, the Irish Coast Guard has also issued a warning to people to pay special attention to water safety this week as thousands head for the country's beaches.

As Met Eireann remains poised to issue its first ever Orange Alert heat warning, the HSE maintains that failure to protect against the rising temperatures could be fatal.

The advice issued by the Department of Health and the HSE reminded the public that deaths of older people can reportedly rise as much as 60pc during a heatwave.

As temperatures continued to climb, the HSE issued some guidelines for sun care.

While difficult for those who work outdoors, simple tips such as avoiding the sun during peak hours have been suggested. 

Young children are also at high risk and should remain out of the sun where possible, with access to plenty of cool air during the day and night.

And while many are taking advantage of the clear skies to shed layers of clothing and enjoy a tipple in the sun, skin protection such as sunscreen and hats in addition to an awareness of intoxication levels are recommended as a priority during the scorching period.

Those addicted to drugs or with serious mental issues have also been highlighted as at risk as the temperatures continue to soar.

Other warnings in relation to the current balmy weather have come from authorities nationwide. 

In addition to the heavy traffic heading to seaside locations countrywide, AA Ireland have warned against melting tarmac on the roads and existing flaws in car tyres being exacerbated by the heat.

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