Wednesday 23 October 2019

Highs of 27C for the week but beach closures cast cloud over good weather

Heidi Quinn (5) from Dublin having fun in the Phoenix Park.
Pic:Mark Condren
Heidi Quinn (5) from Dublin having fun in the Phoenix Park. Pic:Mark Condren

Allison Bray and Callum Lavery

A spell of hot and muggy weather is on the cards for the rest of the week as Europe sizzles in a scorching heatwave.

While Ireland will be spared the 40C temperatures expected to engulf much of mainland Europe, sultry summer weather is finally on its way to these shores, according to Met Éireann.

The warming trend will begin today with spells of sunshine expected nationwide to generate daytime highs of between 20C and 24C in most areas. However, light to moderate north-easterly breezes will keep things cooler along the coasts.

But the mercury will continue to rise tomorrow with hazy sunshine and highs of between 22C and 27C -although offshore breezes will moderate temperatures along the north and east coasts with light to moderate breezes keeping conditions fresh along the south coast.

The same balmy conditions will continue on Friday with highs of between 20C and 27C, although cloud will creep in during the course of the day in the west and southwest, with patchy drizzle in the morning there. There is also a potential for thundery downpours to hit there late afternoon, according to Met Éireann.

Saturday will see heavy rain and possible thunderstorms hit eastern areas in the morning but the rain will be short-lived and is expected to clear out into the Irish Sea by afternoon, leaving a warm day with highs of between 19C and 25C.

Spillage: Algae allegedly discoloured water at Sandycove in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Spillage: Algae allegedly discoloured water at Sandycove in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

By Sunday, the mercury will dip down to between 16C and 20C, with just sunny spells and scattered showers.

The cooling trend is expected to continue into next week, with a return to a combination of sunny spells and showers and lower daytime highs.

But the period of warm weather has generated a frosty reception by some south Dublin residents, who say they are fed up with overflow at water treatment centres resulting in beach closures.

Three popular Dublin swimming spots, at Seapoint, Sandycove and the Forty Foot baths, have been temporarily closed to the public amid fears of low quality water.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council (DLRC) issued the closure notice on Monday evening, citing an "overflow discharge of wastewater" from a number of treatment facilities and pumping stations into the bay area of south Dublin following heavy rainfall.

Earlier this month, Dollymount, Sandymount and Merrion strands, and Seapoint, Sandycove, Killiney and White Rock beaches, as well as the Forty Foot, were all similarly restricted following another overflow.

Irish Water said it hopes the €400m upgrade to the water treatment facility in Ringsend will decrease the number of overflows experienced.

But local residents are outraged that the beaches are closed at the height of summer, said local Fianna Fáíl councillor John Lahart.

"This would be bothersome for locals at any time of the year but the fact that it's June underscores the nuisance that leaks from the plant cause.

"There is also the potential for a knock-on effect on tourism and the local economy given we are due some warm, summery weather later this week and people tend to flock to the seaside," he said.

"I appreciate that a certain degree of this discharge cannot be avoided due to the overflow caused by poor weather, but I do not believe that this level of disruption was ever envisaged. To that end, Irish Water must thoroughly explain how and why sewage pollution into our sea has become so commonplace."

Irish Independent

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