Ready, steady, bake - we're set to sizzle over weekend in 30C heat
* Longest hot spell in 18 years
* Tesco report 170pc increase in sales of suncream
* Topless men urged to ‘cover up’ when entering shops
* Sales of men’s ‘summer shorts’ increase by 156pc
* Sales of sunglasses up by 77pc
WE'LL be hot as Paris and just a few degrees cooler than Madrid this weekend.
Met Eireann say temperatures will hit the 30C mark throughout the country tomorrow.
The hottest region will be the Midlands where Met Eireann are forecasting temperatures in excess of 30C, which could prompt an orange alert for the first time ever.
We're almost on a par with sun-drenched Paris at 31C and a few degrees cooler than Madrid at 36C.
A yellow alert was issued by Met Eireann yesterday as temperatures hit the 27C mark.
Temperatures in other regions are expected to hit 29C tomorrow.
Met Eireann said the current heatwave has beaten the 2006 record. If it lasts throughout the weekend, it will be our longest hot spell since 2005.
Carlow - aka Costa Del Carlow - is the country's top hotspot.
Temperatures peaked at 28.4C there yesterday – and more than likely, it will be the country’s top hotspot throughout this weekend.
And it appears that Irish people are being careful when it out and about in the sunshine.
Tesco have reported a 170pc rise in the sale of suncreams.
Although we continue to cautiously bask in the hot sunshine, it has led to unforeseen problems for some.
A North County Dublin supermarket has urged shoppers to cover up when entering their store.
They noticed a rise in the number of topless men and bikini-clad women picking up some essentials.
A sign was placed in the store window urging customers to wear T-shirts when doing their shopping – management cited hygiene reasons.
Shoppers in stores around the country have taken note of the new shopping phenomenon.
One consumer got in touch with Today FM’s Ray D’Arcy Show to say that two topless men were spotted in her local supermarket in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
She said the sight of them put her off her dinner.
“Please men of Nenagh, keep your shirts on,” she implored.
Apart from food, Irish men are hitting the shops for other reasons – namely summer shorts.
Chain store Debenhams Ireland says the demand for thigh-skimming men’s shorts is through the roof.
Sales of such shorts – which sit at the top of the thighs rather than just above the knees – has increased by 156pc.
“We haven't seen a demand for short-shorts as high as this since Wham! sparked the trend in the 1980s – we are currently considering whether or not to go even shorter for next summer,” said Karen Nason of Debenhams.
The short-short trend is popular with Irish celebrities including One Direction's Niall Horan, Paul Galvin and stylist Darren Kennedy.
“For the daring few, wearing short- shorts can be a liberating experience, particularly when faced with the recent tropic temperatures,” Nason added.
But it's not only thigh-skimming trunks that have seen a rise in sales.
The heatwave has caused a dramatic surge in summer wear.
Arnotts have seen an increase in sales of sunglasses and swimwear.
Sunglass sales are up 77pc on last year. Ladies’ swimwear is up by 20pc while men's swimwear is 52pc up from last year. And Irish women can't get enough sandals, and sales have increased by 42pc.
Irish fashion label A/Wear has also noticed more and more women rushing to get T-shirts and sun dresses.
Debenhams has also witnessed the selling power of the sun and say there has been a definite ‘spike' in sales.
”This summer has really seen a spike in swimwear sales for Debenhams - it's been our busiest summer for swimwear sales in seven years with the good weather we've had since June,” Karen Nason said.
“The past week alone has seen a jump in sales of nearly 30pc in bikinis and 40pc in swimsuits.
“This weather has been really unexpected, and ranges are swimming off the shelves across our 11 stores.”
In Galway, where some of the highest temperatures have been recorded, sunglasses sales in Debenhams were up by nearly 70pc.
River Island on Grafton Street have also noticed an increase in sales.
“The great weather lately has definitely lifted people's spirits and we have noticed lots more shoppers in,” a spokesperson said.