THE summer wind is blowing in at long last. After an unseasonably wet and cold April and May, the chilly north-east winds have finally turned.
Sunseekers took advantage yesterday as the east coast enjoyed the best of the sunshine, with temperatures above 18C.
Mercury levels are set to peak at 24C on Friday.
Temperatures are expected to soar to the mid-20s later in the week as warm winds blow across the country from the south.
John Eagleton, Met Eireann forecaster, said: "It will be a good week. It won't be like the south of Spain, but it will be warm.
"Thursday and Friday look the warmest. It will be over the 20C mark and heading towards the mid-20s. We did have 22C in March, but that seems so long ago."
On Portmarnock Beach in Co Dublin, people donned sunglasses and bravely stripped down to bikinis to enjoy the sunshine.
Lucy Joyce (5), from Ashbourne, Co Meath, was spotted enjoying the respite from the rain, while Grace O'Doherty, from Lucan, Co Dublin, bravely bared her skin to the elements.
Many people descended upon parks around the country, while others dined al fresco at cafes.
However, Mr Eagleton said, after a peak on Thursday and Friday, the temperatures are expected to drop back slightly to 16C over the weekend.
"It will be predominantly dry, but not quite as good as it has been," he said.
"We have been stuck with northerly winds for what seems like an eternity. Now southern winds are coming up across the country."