Plenty of fun in the sun ... for some
MAKE hay and sandcastles while you can because Ireland's brief summery interlude is not going to last the week.
It was a tale of two countries yesterday as parts of the east basked in temperatures over 24C while, further north, temperatures barely hit the mid-teens.
The hottest spot in the country was Dublin's Phoenix Park where the temperature climbed to 24.2C, while at Dublin Airport it hit 23.1C.
Elsewhere, at the weather station in Gurteen, Co Tipperary, it was a balmy 22.1C.
However, in Co Donegal, the weather was decidedly below-par with Malin Head managing 15C and Knock Airport in Co Mayo recording a disappointing 14C.
Sherkin Island off west Cork also came in at just 15C.
Meanwhile, in Co Clare, bathers were back at Lahinch, Spanish Point and Kilkee, which had been closed last week due to high levels of E coli in the water.
The county council and HSE said an improvement in weather conditions in recent days had helped bring about a dramatic reduction in bacteria in the water and it was now safe to swim again at the popular bathing spots.
And it will be good swimming weather over the coming days as temperatures will range between 17C and 20C -- and may go higher for some parts of the country where the cloud clears.
But the fine weather won't last for the weekend, when northerly winds will send temperatures tumbling back down as low as 13C.
Met Eireann forecaster Eoin Sherlock said the fine weather was thanks to the mild continental air over Ireland.
And while eastern parts had the best weather yesterday, our European neighbours had it even better with cloudless skies taking temperatures into the high-20s and beyond.
"If you look at the map of Europe, it's cloud-free. Unfortunately for us, we are at this side of the Atlantic and get the cloud.
"Tracking the cloud will be the tricky thing but there will be some sunny spells at times," he added.
Today will be a repeat of yesterday with the best of the sun in eastern areas. Rain will develop in the early morning and push in to south-west and western areas before moving eastwards.
There will be some heavy falls in Munster, Connacht and Ulster but the showers will be less intense as the band of rain moves east.
There will be some dry and sunny spells following behind with temperatures peaking at 20C -- and maybe even 21C in the south east.
Tomorrow and Thursday will have fewer showers and more sunny spells with maximum temperatures on Thursday peaking at between 20C and 24C.
Friday will still be mild in the south and south-east.
However, it will start turning cool in other areas and, by Saturday, temperatures will fall back to just 13C or 14C in some northern and western areas, while the "sunny south-east" might manage 17C.
The early outlook for the start of next week is for the northerly winds to prevail and it will continue to be cool.