'It's not a heatwave' - Showers on the way but temperatures to remain warm
Ireland sweltered on the hottest day of the year as fire crews battled gorse fires – just don’t call it a heatwave.
The mercury spiked at 26.3C at Shannon Airport and 26.1C at Met Éireann’s weather stations in Newport, Co Mayo, and reached 25.8 degrees at Shannon Airport.
Normal temperatures for the end of May are in the high teens, and the good news is that they will remain above average for some time.
Today is set to be warm and mostly dry with top temperatures of 22-25C.
But as forecaster Pat Clarke pointed out, it wasn’t wall to wall sunshine everywhere.
“It varied a lot, it was just 16C in Malin Head, that was because of the wind blowing in from the sea,” he said.
And while the sun-starved Irish public are often keen to label any spell of good weather a ‘heatwave’, for meteorologists that just doesn’t pass muster.
A heatwave is officially five consecutive days when temperatures are five degrees above normal.
Sadly, while yesterday reached that all important five-degree threshold, it’s not going to continue for the coming days.
“For it to be a heatwave, we would need five days of temperatures reaching 25C every day, so no, it’s not a heatwave,” said Mr Clarke.
Tomorrow, Friday and Saturday look like they will be very showery with temperatures in the low 20s.
However, early signs are there will be good temperatures warm and sunny spells over the coming bank holiday weekend.
Meanwhile, fire crews in Co Clare spent much of yesterday battling a major gorse blaze. The alarm was raised shortly before 10am and, at its height, the fire involved at least 60 acres of land in an area known as the Hand, between Miltown Malbay and Ennis.
Adrian Kelly, chief fire officer based in Ennis, told the Irish Independent that an orange fire warning issued by the Department of Agriculture last week is still in place.
“The conditions have been very dry over the last few days and the temperatures are very high. The undergrowth is tinder dry.
“Our advice is not to carry out any burning, controlled or uncontrolled, during this hot weather,” he added.
Motorists are also being urged not to leave their pets alone in cars during the hot spell as, even with a window left open, temperatures can still reach dangerous levels.
The fine weather has also sparked a run on barbecues and ice-cream.
Damien Dwyer, commercial director with Woodie’s, said sales of gas barbecues had doubled in the hot weather and shops were gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year for plant-buying.