Spring sunshine and above-average temperatures to last until Friday
Yesterday was the hottest day of 2015
Sunshine, ice pops and lashings of Factor 50 at the ready, as the mini-heatwave continues.
Yesterday was the hottest day of 2015, with temperatures reaching 18.9C in Oakpark in Co Carlow. Today is set to be another warm day, with the whole country basking in sunshine as temperatures reach 17C.
The azure skies will remain above our heads until the weekend, when temperatures will drop to as low as 9C with an increase of cloud cover.
Forecaster Gerry Murphy said temperatures today will reach between 13C and 18C.
“Temperatures are above average at the moment but they’ll be below average for the weekend.”
“Some places will get above 18C this afternoon, and the highest values will be in inland areas. The coolest temperatures will be on the south and east coasts, and they’ll be around 13C.”
“Tonight will be another chilly night. It’s quite early in the year so temperatures will be dropping to between one and four degrees.”
“Tomorrow we can look forward to another good day of temperatures at 16 or 17C.”
However, on Friday temperatures will begin to drop.
“On Friday, we will see the beginnings of a change in the weather. It’ll be a cloudier and breezier day and temperatures won’t be as high - roughly about 11-15C. There will be some showers in the east, with rain and drizzle moving later into the West on Friday.”
“On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a notable drop in temperatures. Temperatures will be down between nine and 11 degrees, so we’ll see a significant difference.”
However, early indications are that next week will again see a ridge of high pressure over Ireland.
It seems everyone is determined to make the most of the fine weather; Fota Island had its busiest day in over a decade, with 6,750 visitors, while queues of families snaked through the Phoenix Park patiently waiting to enter Dublin Zoo.
Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel said the Asian elephant calves - Kavi, Ashoka and Samiya - and also the 10 piglets were the star attractions of the day.
Others flocked to seaside promenades and piers to tuck into fluffy mounds of ice cream. Craig McIntosh of Teddy's ice cream shop said it was an exceptionally hectic day.
Meanwhile, Fairyhouse Racing festival saw 18,293 people crowd into the stands over the course of the three-day festival.
It was a bittersweet day for AP McCoy who rode his last race on Irish soil.
"It is a sad day. I'm very flattered and honoured by the attention," AP said.
Sinead Grace of Tourism Ireland said the positive impact of a solid few days of sunshine couldn't be underestimated.
"By and large, overseas visitors don't come to Ireland hoping for good weather," she said.
"But the sun-soaked skies allow visitors to see the country in, quite literally, its best light."