Holiday hotspots left in the shade as temperature soars
‘Wall-to-wall sunshine’ as summer comes early
SUMMER came early yesterday with near record-breaking temperatures and sunny skies across the country.
The mercury hit 21C at the Valentia weather station, meaning parts of Ireland rivalled traditional hot-spots like Athens and Tenerife whose temperatures barely hit 20C under cloudy skies.
"It's effectively wall-to-wall sunshine," said Met Eireann meteorologist Vincent O'Shea yesterday.
However, he added: "Make the most of it, this lovely weather won't last."
North Co Kerry, Galway and parts of Clare were the nation's hotspots yesterday -- basking in 20C sunshine.
And while it felt like record-breaking temperatures for this time of the year, yesterday's high was still shy of the 24.4C recorded in Belmullet, Co Mayo, in April 2003.
But no one was arguing yesterday as sun-worshippers flocked to beer gardens, parks and beaches to soak up the sun.
Today will be just as pleasant in most parts of the country, although temperatures aren't expected to hit the highs they did yesterday.
"It will stay warm and sunny and it may get up to about 19C or 20C," Mr O'Shea said.
The East, Midlands and the North will get the best of the summery weather while cloud will slowly move in from the West around midday with a southerly breeze followed by patchy rain in the evening.
Tomorrow will also be a pleasantly warm day but winds will start to pick up as temperatures revert to a more seasonal 15C to 18C and cloud starts to become more widespread with occasional sunny breaks.
Mr O'Shea said that an anti-cyclone -- which saw temperatures hover around 30C in France and Portugal yesterday -- coupled with the jet stream bringing semi-tropical air over much of northwestern Europe last week, was responsible for the warm weather.
But conditions are expected to return to normal by the early part of next week.
"It's a case of live it up while you can," Mr O'Shea added.