'I think this is my favourite forecast I’ve ever written' - Even Met Éireann are excited as Ireland is set to be hotter than Algarve
- Ireland will be hotter than the Algarve and the Canaries next week
- Temperatures set to soar to a sizzling 29c
- Ireland is set to enjoy some of its best summer weather since 2013
- Temperatures will reach a maximum of 23C today
- Much-loved forecaster Joanna Donnelly: "I think this is my favourite forecast I’ve ever written"
- People warned to stay safe in the water and to call emergency services if they notice someone in distress
- Animal experts share tips on how to keep your cats, dogs and other pets safe in the heat
Ireland will be hotter than the Algarve and the Canaries next week, with temperatures potentially soaring to a sizzling 29C.
Parts of the country are expected to prove an astonishing 8C warmer than Gran Canaria on Wednesday.
With seaside hotels, guesthouses and traders reporting a brisk upturn in business, Ireland is set to enjoy some of its best summer weather since 2013.
And even the weather forecasters are excited. Well-known Met Éireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly tweeted a picture of the forecast she read out on RTE Radio One's Drivetime, saying; "Just one more time because I think this is my favourite forecast I’ve ever written."
However, Met Éireann warned that it will only be an official heatwave if temperatures stay at 20C and above for five consecutive days.
Met Éireann stressed Ireland will slowly ease into the fine summer weather, which is expected to have peak temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday as a massive warm front from southern Europe stalls over Ireland.
Temperatures will reach a maximum of 23C today with west Connacht and Ulster having the coolest temperatures of around 17C.
From Sunday, the mercury will steadily begin rising - and could reach a searing 29C in midweek with the hottest temperatures predicted for south Leinster and the midlands.
Today will be dry and mostly sunny with light variable breezes. There'll be a bit more cloud at times in northern parts of Ulster and Connacht. Highest temperatures of 17 to 23 degrees, coolest on Connacht and Ulster coasts, warmest in inland parts of Leinster and Munster. pic.twitter.com/uj57pfu41k— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) June 23, 2018
However, Met Éireann's Deirdre Lowe added sea breezes around coastal areas will make beaches feel significantly cooler.
And, in Joanna Donnelly's forecast, she was sure to warn people about the potential dangers the fine weather can also bring.
"It's going to be marvellous so please, don't spoil it by getting burnt, use sunblock. There'll be lots of days to develop your tan so take it eay.
"And please please please above all else, stay safe if you're near or on the water.
"Watch out for anyone you notice in distress, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard, never assume someone else has already called."
Meanwhile, sales of ice cream, cider, barbecue foods, garden furniture and even flowers have soared over the past fortnight.
Irish Hotel Federation members are reporting brisk trade with a number of high-profile concerts and festivals nationwide.
US singer-songwriter Billy Joel is playing a sell-out concert in Dublin tonight. Other major events this weekend include the Colour Dash in Cork, the Wexford Maritime Festival, the Midsummer Eve Bonfire Festival in Clare and a hectic events schedule in Dublin with Dublin LGBTQ Pride, Stoneybatter Festival and the International A Capella Festival.
Irish Water Safety urged people to take care in the sea and around lakes, rivers and streams. After an horrific fortnight on Irish roads, gardaí and the Road Safety Authority urged people to drive safely.
Meanwhile, animal experts have also shared some top tips for keeping pets safe in the warm weather.
They have advised cat-owners to use sunscreen on cats' ears to avoid skin cancer and to keep a dish of water in a shaded area for them to drink from.
For dogs, owners are advised to keep a bowl of water in a shaded area and to ensure birds are not drinking from the same bowl to avoid contamination. Also, it is better to walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid them becoming dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke.
Finally, for those with rabbits and guinea pigs in hot weather, owners are asked to watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.
Make sure rabbits and guinea pigs can access shade if they live outdoors. Place their hutch in a cool area with good airflow and move it around shadiest parts of the garden as the sun moves. Also, avoid plastic hutches as they can get extremely hot under the sun, and opt for wood instead.