Sunday 21 December 2014

Yellow alert in place as flash flooding set to hit the country

Emma Jane Hade

Published 18/07/2014 | 02:30

Brothers Max [7] and Ethan [10] Duffy from Blackrock cool down in the water at Seapoint
John Moreau from Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club stops traffic to allow nephew Stephen O’Shea cross the road with his new boat

IRELAND will swelter in "very warm" temperatures and high humidity for the coming days, with downpours competing with blazing sunshine.

Despite the fact that temperatures climbed as high as 25C in parts of the south and east of the country yesterday, thundery showers are expected to sweep the country during the night.

The hot and humid air known as the 'Spanish Plume' is moving up from the north of Spain, across the Bay of Biscay and past Britain where temperatures are pushing into the 30s.

A combination of sunshine, thunderstorms and heavy rain is likely to be in store for much of the country this weekend.

Met Eireann issued a 'yellow' alert that is set to remain in place until tomorrow, and have said that flash flooding may occur in parts of the country.

"There are heavy thundery showers coming up from the south. They'll move across the country throughout the night, and the bulk of that will be clear this morning," said John Eagleton of Met Eireann.

"And, then I think it will brighten, but cloud will build and there'll be a few heavy showers this afternoon. It will be a warm day, not as warm as yesterday, though. Temperatures will be 19 to 23 degrees. It will be warm and humid."

However, forecasters said that things would improve and were looking good for the coming days.

"Sunday, Monday and Tuesday look good – Monday and Tuesday particularly," Mr Eagleton said. "There will be the odd shower floating about on Sunday, but generally it will be dry.

"It looks like it will get a bit fresher after midweek, with temperatures set to drop a bit."

The heavy rain and thunderstorms are set to create hazardous conditions on the roads, and the Road Safety Authority is appealing to drivers to take extra care, reminding them that it takes longer to stop.

With some summer weather on the horizon, animals will become increasingly vulnerable as the temperatures rise.

Sheena Twist from Clare Animal Welfare said that it was important to take steps to ensure that pets were not kept in enclosed spaces without ventilation, and appealed to owners to make sure their animals had access to "plenty of fresh drinking water".

She said: "Animals don't sweat the same way as us, and they get too hot. They start running out of air or get very thirsty. Their heartbeat increases, so they panic and it puts an awful strain on their heart."

However, conditions won't be as extreme as parts of Britain, where people have been warned to brace themselves for potentially dangerous heat.

Health officials issued a heatwave alert following forecasts that the mercury may hit 32C in London and East Anglia today.

Irish Independent

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