Tuesday 17 October 2017

Summer’s here to stay … for the weekend at least

Jessica Maguire from Walkinstown, enjoying the sunshine on Portmarnock Beach, Dublin.
Jessica Maguire from Walkinstown, enjoying the sunshine on Portmarnock Beach, Dublin.
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

The summer sunshine is set to continue in to the weekend with high temperatures forecast in most parts of the country.

Met Eireann said it will be up to 23C (73F) tomorrow, with the dry spell on Saturday and Sunday keeping it in the early 20s.

However it warned the weather will gradually worsen early next week, with temperatures dropping back to normal on Monday and outbreaks of rain affecting Connacht and west Munster.

"This will be followed by more widespread and heavier rain through next Tuesday," it added.

Irish Cancer Society warned people to stay sun smart when flocking to back gardens, beaches and parks.

It said skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, but that nine out of every 10 cases could be prevented if people took more care when outdoors.

Rosemary Scott, health promotion officer, said the main cause of skin cancer is UV rays from the sun.

"One of the difficulties is that you can't see or feel the UV rays that are causing the damage," she said.

"The reality is that up to 90% of UV rays can get through light cloud so get into the habit of being SunSmart every day, when at home and abroad, whether you are on the beach, playing sports, gardening or working."

Tips include covering up, wearing sun cream and staying in the shade when rays are strongest.

Elsewhere a study has revealed that over the last 30 years Ireland has had seven heatwaves - where the maximum daily temperature is above 25C (77F) for a number of days - resulting in almost 300 deaths.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the research by DIT that showed past heatwaves have resulted in increased deaths, illness and people taken to hospital.

Heatwaves were recorded at most meteorological stations in July 1983, August 1984, June 1995, August 1995, June 2003, August 2003 and July 2006.

They were associated with approximately 294 greater than expected deaths with the majority - 241 - in rural areas.

However winter mortality is still higher than summer mortality in Ireland, with cold-related deaths expected to remain of greater concern during the next 10-15 years, it found,

Professor Pat Goodman, who led the research, said more people die when temperatures are at either extreme, during cold or very hot weather.

"Climate change calls for an evaluation of the past, present and future health risks associated with heat and heatwaves and our study has found that future more severe heatwaves may result in a significant excess mortality," he added.

"As we face the challenges of global warming and climate change we need to identify what groups of the population are most at risk, and who needs to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from the heat.

"Our study recommends putting in place the capacity to relay timely warning messages in the case of future heatwaves and improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock so as to limit the adverse impacts of heatwaves."

Press Association

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