Saturday 21 July 2018

Battle of the tar: Motorists warned of 'slick and dangerous' melting road surfaces as temperatures soar

  • Motorists now being advised to exercise caution during the heatwave as tarred road surfaces boil
  • We edge closer to Ireland's record 33.3C temperature in 1887
  • Those looking to cool down being advised to head for the coast
  • Met Éireann could introduce a red weather warning if temperatures peak beyond 30C
  • 'Inland areas, such as Clare, Galway city, Mayo and Limerick, are expected to be the hottest today' - forecaster
Melting tar on tyres (Photo: Garda Checkpoints & Speed Cameras Galway)
Melting tar on tyres (Photo: Garda Checkpoints & Speed Cameras Galway)
Melting tar on tyres (Photo: Garda Checkpoints & Speed Cameras Galway)
Lucy McAdam (6) and Gemma Mooney (7), from Hollystown, have fun in the sun with their bubble guns. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Eoghan MacConnell and Laura Lynott

Motorists are now being advised to exercise caution during the heatwave as tarred road surfaces boil and temperatures soar nationwide.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has warned Irish motorists to take care on the roads, writing: "Hot weather means hot roads and softer road surfaces.

"We are reminding road users to be careful of surfaces becoming slick and dangerous, particularly on minor roads. Please exercise caution when braking."

Met Éireann said due to blazing temperatures already witnessed across the country, there's a chance the mercury could creep upward to 32C, as we edge closer to Ireland's record 33.3C temperature in 1887.

Melting tar on tyres (Photo: Garda Checkpoints & Speed Cameras Galway)
Melting tar on tyres (Photo: Garda Checkpoints & Speed Cameras Galway)

Yesterday, the highest temperature was recorded at Shannon Airport (28C). Today, the hottest areas are expected to be inland areas across Connacht and Munster, where we could see anything from 26C to 30C or even 32C.

In a battle with melting tar, Mayo County Council is planning to treat melting roads with grit. The council tweeted: "Road Safety Alert: Our gritters are on standby to deal with melting roads in the blazing sunshine.

"Gritters can be used for hail and in this case shine!  Please be aware and drive carefully."

In Sligo, the council said; "Please drive with caution during this very hot spell of weather, as all roads are liable to boiling tar.

"Sligo County Council wishers to advise motorists that tar is boiling up on the L-3604-0(Local Road between Ballisodare and the R284 Sligo - Ballygawley Road) as road temperatures are in excess of 44 degrees.

"The road has been treated by Sligo County Council Staff. Please proceed with care."

Clodagh Howley Mulhall (5) and Katie George Brennan (3) having fun in Loughshinny
Pic: Mark Condren
Clodagh Howley Mulhall (5) and Katie George Brennan (3) having fun in Loughshinny Pic: Mark Condren
Sophie Ducasse (5) having fun in Skerries Pic:Mark Condren
Lauren Chaney and her brother Darragh enjoying the sun on Bull Island Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Gaving fun on Skerries beach Photo: Mark Condren
Cael Skehan enjoying the weather on Bull Island Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
President Michael D Higgins. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Priya Murphy Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
A temperature scale on a beach shows high temperatures during a heat wave.
Lucia Pivarci enjoying the weather on Bull Island Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
HOT: Sunbathers at Brittas Bay yesterday. Photo: Neil Carson
Michelle Moore & Maura Lynskey enjoying the good weather on Bull Island, Dublin Photo Gareth Chaney Collins
Gallagher Brothers (L to R) Conor 4 & 3 Alex both from Maynooth enjoying the good weather in Stephens Green,Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Roly the Tibetan terrier & Kate O'Callaghan from Sutton enjoying the good weather in Stephens Green,Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Mayara Agappes orignally from Sao Paulo Brazil but now living in Kilmainham enjoying the good weather in Stephens Green,Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
People enjoying the good weather in Stephens Green,Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

If temperatures peak beyond 30C, Met Éireann could introduce a red weather warning.

Currently a yellow warning is in operation but a red status would mean those whose health is at risk, such as asthmatics or the elderly, would be advised to take action, like staying indoors.

"There is a chance we could get to 32C. Inland areas, such as Clare, Galway city, Mayo and Limerick, are expected to be the hottest today," forecaster Aoife Murray said.

"And there's a chance of 30C for the rest of the week in those areas. But it probably won't get there in Dublin or anywhere on the east coast. The further inland we go, the hotter it's getting as the heat is travelling across the land, but the closer you go to the coast, the cooler it is and the east is one of the cooler places to be due to its proximity to the coast."

But not everyone is enjoying the weather and those with health issues or older people are advised to take advantage of cooler temperatures in the morning or to visit the coast.

Met Éireann advised early morning as the best time to enjoy a walk because by evening time the land has soaked up most of the day's heat and temperatures will remain stifling.

"Go out in the morning early," Ms Murray said. "Cover up and wear light layers. Don't forget the sunscreen and a hat and just be mindful to stay out of the sun, especially in the afternoon when there's more chance of being sunburned."

The Department of Agriculture issued a red forest fire warning yesterday afternoon as the heatwave continues.

The Irish Asthma Society also issued a warning, with hayfever sufferers facing high record pollen levels.

Irish Independent

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