Hit the beaches while you can
THE mercury shot up to 27C yesterday, beating last year's summer high of 25.6C.
Tens of thousands are set to head for beaches and beer gardens as the sunshine and blue skies are expected to last most of the weekend.
Parts of Ireland were hotter than Barcelona or Rome yesterday, with the top temperature of 26.9C recorded at Shannon Airport, higher than the hottest day last year when 25.6C was recorded at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, on September 28.
But Met Eireann urged people to enjoy the ice cream and barbecue weather while they could because Monday was set to bring the rainclouds again.
And for those determined to spend a few hours basking on a beach today, be warned -- the winds will pick up, bringing a slight easterly chill.
Forecaster Harm Luijkx explained that because the winds are coming from the south-east, they are being chilled by their journey across the Irish Sea, so those on the south and east coast can expect a little bite in the breeze.
For once, those in the north-west will get the best of the weather, with inland temperatures also reaching into the mid-20s.
Mr Luijkx said the early days of next week would bring more changeable weather, with showers in many places.
It will remain quite mild next week, and mainly dry, although it is not expected to be as bright and sunny as the latter part of this week.
Monday and Tuesday will bring rain to most areas but temperatures will remain at average levels.
"There will be no return to the cold we have had," Mr Luijkx promised.