Chocolate-melting weather to carry on until tomorrow
Easter egg hunters will have to keep their stash in the shade today with meteorologists expecting chocolate-melting high temperatures for Easter.
The unseasonably warm highs have been boosted by a slight change in wind direction that will see the warm temperatures continue throughout Easter Sunday.
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, with 20°C highs meaning the warmest parts of the country were hotter and drier than Barcelona, Gran Canaria and Majorca.
Temperatures are expected to be similar today, making for tricky conditions for anyone with a haul of chocolate Easter eggs.
"There will be a bit of melting in it," Met Eireann weather forecaster John Eagleton told the Sunday Independent.
Temperatures today are expected to boost the mercury to about 22°C before conditions cool slightly tomorrow.
Eastern counties, including Dublin and Kildare are expected to see the highest temperatures today, Mr Eagleton said.
"There is no question about it being unseasonably warm. Temperatures are way more positive than we would expect at this time of year. There are several indications of that.
"The west has been having the best of the weather in recent days but there has been a subtle change in wind direction.
" You would hardly feel the breeze, but there is a more westerly component to it and as a result we are not getting that cold air in off the Irish Sea.
"The east of the country should benefit from that."
Winds are to change again tomorrow with a south-westerly breeze bringing cooler temperatures.
Highs of 18°C are expected in the Midlands, with Co Roscommon expected to see the warmest temperatures on Monday before things start to get cooler and wetter again.
Tuesday and Wednesday should see patches of rain come in from the Bay of Biscay, Mr Eagleton said.
"That wind-shift on Monday means we should see highs in the region of 18 degrees before things start to return to more normal temperatures later in the week.
"Things should hold a bit better in the east but there will be bits of rain around on Tuesday and then temperatures will begin to drop in the middle of the week to 10°C or 11°C.
"Wednesday should be okay too but things will begin to drop again after midweek.
"It will turn wetter too. It is not going to stay dry.
"Because the rain is coming up from the south and the Bay of Biscay, it is swirling around, so it is hard to time it but the rainfall prediction for the latter stages of the week have definitely increased."
- Read More: Your Easter Toolkit: 25 things to do in Ireland, from chocolate workshops to walks, beaches and egg hunts
The rising temperatures resulted in an appeal calling on people to remain vigilant of the increased risk of wildfires because of dry conditions.
Units from Dublin Fire Brigade were busy yesterday fighting a gorse wildfire near the Hellfire Club in the Dublin Mountains.
A Dublin Fire Brigade spokesman said the fine weather has meant that bushes and vegetation are particularly at risk from fires which can spread rapidly in dry conditions.