Monday 24 September 2018

'The high pressure is not breaking down - we're in for more dry, warm and sunny weather next week too' - Met Éireann

  • Temperatures topped 30C in parts of the country yesterday
  • 'The next two days, it is going to be as warm, if not warmer' - forecaster
  • Department of Agriculture issues a status red warning for forest fires
  • 'We won’t be upgrading to a status red or a status orange' - Met Éireann
  • Irish Rail have hot weather protocols in place - but no need for speed restrictions yet
HOT: Sunbathers at Brittas Bay yesterday. Photo: Neil Carson
HOT: Sunbathers at Brittas Bay yesterday. Photo: Neil Carson

Luke Byrne and Denise Calnan

There is no sign of Ireland's heatwave abating - as forecasters are now predicting the sizzling temperatures to continue into next week.

It was initially believed that the unusual hot spell would break over the weekend, but Met Éireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly explained this morning that there is no sign of the current high pressure "breaking".

Temperatures topped 30C in parts of the country yesterday – and are expected to rise again today.

 

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

Nights will continue to be warm as well, with temperatures in the low to midteens. While many people find it hard to sleep in the heat, the Met Eireann forecaster said as long as temperatures stay in this bracket, they should be bearable.

“I would have grave concern if the night temperatures went anywhere above 20C because the body needs those cooler temperatures overnight to cool off from the day,” the forecaster said.

"We can expect 31C, maybe even 32C inland, likely in the same places that experienced higher temperatures yesterday," Joanna Donnelly told RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland this morning.

"There will also be a light, easterly wind that will moderate a little later, but it will be overall a dry, warm, sunny, hot summer's day with sea breezes along the coasts.

"Tonight, the temperatures will be between 13 and 15 degrees as well, and it will be the same tomorrow after another hot and sunny day.

"It will be another warm and sunny day on Saturday and Sunday, as the high pressure is not breaking down.

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

"So it's another day pushed out - we were looking at uncertainty but the latest model shows its set to continue with more dry, warm and sunny weather next week too."

In fact, the mercury is set to rise even higher today and tomorrow, building on the 31C high recorded yesterday at Shannon Airport.

“The next two days, it is going to be as warm, if not warmer,” Met Éireann told the Irish Independent.

While breezes were keeping the east coast of the country relatively cooler, it reached 27.9C in the Phoenix Park in the capital.

A gritting lorry on the coast road near Rathmullan, Co Donegal this morning where local temperatures has reached 28C by 11am, melting tar on the road (Photo: Greg Harkin)
A gritting lorry on the coast road near Rathmullan, Co Donegal this morning where local temperatures has reached 28C by 11am, melting tar on the road (Photo: Greg Harkin)

Forecasts for today suggest highs of 30C, while tomorrow it could reach 32C in places, close to the hottest temperatures on record for the country. In 1887, temperatures reached 33.3C in Kilkenny.

Irish holidaymakers in destinations such as Tenerife and Gran Canaria might have been disappointed to learn temperatures at home were higher than the resorts.

Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) had to battle several forest fires in the Dublin Mountains.

Among the areas where blazes broke out was the Lead Mines in the south of the county.

There was also a fire at Glendoo Mountain, which caused DFB to urge drivers to stay away from the area of Military Road.

The Department of Agriculture has issued a status red warning for forest fires. It said in a statement this status was the highest level and was rare in Ireland, and it replaced a status orange warning which had been in effect since last Thursday.

The warning was to indicate the dangerous possibility that fire could spread rapidly in these conditions once ignited.

“[It] may give rise to rapid and unpredictable wildfire development and spread, particularly in dead grasses, and low-moisture shrub fuels like gorse and heather.”

People who own forest lands have been advised to implement fire prevention plans, and to be prepared for the likelihood of fire outbreaks on or around their property.

Farmers were also advised to exercise caution in relation to the use of machinery around hay meadows.

Irish Rail are now distributing 50,000 bottles of water to train customers and have announced that "hot weather protocols" are in place for fleet and infrastructure maintenance.

The company are advising to;

  • To avoid unnecessary travel if unwell
  • To ask for assistance or, if on a busy peak service, to ask for a seat if you become unwell while travelling
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Remember your hat and sunscreen if you are enjoying the sun on the platform, or sitting in direct sunlight on the train

Iarnród Éireann has also put into operation a series of hot weather protocols to ensure services run without disruption.

Fleet maintenance will focus on cooling systems on board, and on ensuring air-conditioning is operating well on equipped fleets, with fleets being monitored remotely and in maintenance centres.

Some track maintenance works are being deferred, as unsettling the track bed can increase the risk of rail buckling in the heat. However, engineers say that rail heat levels have not approached levels to cause concern or to require speed restrictions, but will continue to monitor this through automated temperature gauges, preventive works on jointed track, and ongoing line inspections.

Yesterday Met Éireann said a status yellow warning remained in place for heat, advising people to take all the necessary precautions, such as using sun cream and staying hydrated.

“We won’t be upgrading to a status red or a status orange.

“Obviously people should use common sense when out in the sun.”

The status yellow warning would remain in place until Friday, a spokeswoman said.

Irish Water yesterday urged people to conserve supplies.

There was particular concern in Co Longford, where water restrictions were put in place in some areas.

Bulk water containers were deployed to Granard Kill cemetery, where there were queues during the evening.

The amount of water in storage to serve the Greater Dublin Area is 20pc below target.

Some 160 days of water is available for extraction from the Poulaphouca Reservoir in Co Wicklow. There should be 200 days available at this time of year.

While demand has stabilised in the Greater Dublin Area, it is still “critically high” and putting enormous pressure on the system. The utility’s drought management team is meeting daily, and is monitoring water supplies and demand around the country. It said in many of its schemes, supply and demand was already under pressure.

Irish Independent

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