Get the barbeque out: Ireland set to be as warm as Tenerife this week
GET ready for summer! After what has felt like the longest winter in history, temperatures are set to soar this week.
Dublin, Galway and Limerick can expect the thermometer to reach up to 18C in the coming days while temperatures will be slightly cooler further south.
While it won't quite be a heatwave, temperatures will rise steadily to set up scorchers on Friday and Saturday.
"There is a heads-up of summer coming on Tuesday. We are already seeing an improvement," said Met Eireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly.
She played down talk of a heatwave, but confirmed that the worst of the unsettled weather of the past two months is probably over.
"The very cold weather should be behind us now," she said.
The midlands and the west will fare best with highs of 24C on Friday and Saturday. The east coast will be cooler thanks to a breeze coming in over the Irish Sea, with temperatures about three degrees lower than the rest of the country.
However, there'll be cloudy, drizzly weather in places early in the week. Some areas will bask in hazy sunshine from Wednesday followed by warm, dry days.
There was good news too for hay fever sufferers with pollen counts due to be low.
The cold weather has been causing headaches around the country, prompting the administrator of the Tidy Towns Competition to instruct adjudicators to take the difficult growing conditions into consideration when awarding points.
Philip Finn made the move after several Tidy Towns committees lobbied to have the closing date for this year's competition pushed back because the cold weather had played havoc with their flowerbeds.
"I will write to the adjudicators and ask them to keep in mind the inclement weather. But these adjudicators are experienced and they know there is much more to becoming Ireland's Tidiest Town than plants and flowers," said Mr Finn.