Get set to enjoy the Irish summer -- all six days of it
DUST off the barbecue and crack open the sunscreen, because the summer is -- hopefully -- here at last.
Temperatures are set to hit a high of 24 degrees today and over the weekend, several degrees above normal for this time of year.
However, sunseekers are advised to make the most of this brief flash of summer, as it's back to business as usual from the middle of next week.
The good weather wasn't experienced equally around the country yesterday. Shannon Airport was the hottest, sweltering in 24-degree heat, followed by Gurteen near Roscrea, Co Tipperary, at 23C and Ballyhaise in Co Cavan at 22C.
In contrast, the weather station at Roches Point in Cork managed just 12C.
Met Eireann is predicting that this dichtomy will continue over the weekend, with inland areas enjoying the best of the weather while temperatures are pegged back along the coasts thanks to sea fogs.
Speaking last night, forecaster John Eagleton said May was often a month of "seasonal change" which can throw up a few summery interludes. "You can get summer suddenly bursting through, which is what happened today," he added.
"We'll hold these temperatures right through to Sunday, and gradually over the early days of next week it will get cooler."
He said that by next Thursday, temperatures could be back to around 14 degrees, which is more typical for late May.
Meanwhile, the coming nights will feel mild and humid, with temperatures not falling below 11 or 13 degrees.
Mr Eagleton pointed out that after three bad summers in a row -- each of them cruelly preceded by very promising springs -- people will be hoping our luck has finally turned.
"We're certainly overdue a good summer, but that doesn't mean we'll get it," he warned.