Met Eireann issues high temperature weather warning, as authorities in Europe take extreme measures ahead of heatwave
- Warning covers six counties – Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick
- Mercury will continue to rise tomorrow with hazy sunshine and highs of between 22C and 27C
- Department of Foreign Affairs issue travel alert to all Irish holidaymakers
- ISPCA release tips on how to keep your pets cool in the heat
- Ireland will be spared the 40C temperatures expected to engulf much of mainland Europe
- France are closing some schools, authorities in Italy are giving out thousands of bottles of free water and in Germany, authorities are imposing motorway speed limits amid fears of buckling road surface
Met Éireann has issued a high temperature warning as parts of the country are to swelter in 27C heat.
The warning covers six counties – Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick.
It comes into force at 1pm on Thursday and runs until 7pm.
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.
This is when the weather warning will come into place for some areas along the west coast.
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.
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.
The HSE advised, older people, especially those over 75, babies and young children, people with serious mental health problems, people with breathing or heart problems and people who are physically active, like manual workers and athletes to take special care.
Meanwhile, the ISPCA is sharing some tips and advice to help keep your pets safe during the hot weather.
"We all love the summer sunshine, but please plan in advance if you are bringing your pet anywhere with you in hot weather ensuring they won’t be left in a hot car for any length of time," ISPCA Public Relations Manager Carmel Murray said.
"Avoid walking your dog during intense heat, early morning or evening walks is always best when it’s cooler. If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. Always have fresh cool water available and access to shade from the sun."
They advised to keep fresh water available for your pet, add ice cubes to your pet's water, make sure they have access to shade and to keep them indoors in cooler rooms if the heat becomes extreme.
The ISPCA warned pet owners that even 10 minutes in a hot car can prove fatal for animals.
Fortunately, Ireland will be spared the 40C temperatures expected to engulf much of mainland Europe this week.
The Department of Foreign Affairs have issued a travel alert to all Irish holidaymakers that a Status Orange Warning for high temperatures is in place in France.
At least three people have died in France due to the "thermal shock" while bathing on the beaches of the Herault River, according to several French media organisations. The deaths have been blamed on the heatwave sweeping across Europe.
On Monday, June 24 a 70-year-old man died of a cardiac arrest while swimming on the beach of Marseillant-Plage, the next day two more people died under similar conditions, a 62-year-old woman and A 75-year-old man.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn has said that most of the country has now been placed on high alert, as temperatures rise to as high as 45C
Similarly, French President Emmanuel Macron has put out a warning ahead of the hot weather.
"As you know, at times like these, sick people, pregnant women, infants and elderly people are the most vulnerable," he said.
"So we must be vigilant with them and have prevention measures in place in order to intervene as quickly as possible."
Some French schools are staying closed as a precaution, while in Germany, authorities are imposing motorway speed limits amid fears of buckling road surfaces.
The transport ministry in Germany's eastern Saxony-Anhalt state said it has imposed speed limits of 62 mph or 75 mph on several short stretches of road until further notice.
Those stretches usually have no speed limit, but officials fear they might crack in the heat and endanger drivers.
Around France, some schools have been closed because of the high temperatures, which are expected to go up to 39C (102F) in the Paris area later this week and bake much of the country, from the Pyrenees in the southwest to the German border in the northeast.
Such temperatures are rare in France, where most homes and many buildings do not have air conditioning.
In Paris, authorities banned older cars from the city for the day as the heat wave aggravates the city's pollution.
Regional authorities estimate the measure put into place Wednesday affects nearly 60pc of vehicles circulating in the Paris region, including many delivery lorries and older cars with higher emissions than newer models. Violators face fines.
French charities and local officials are providing extra help for the elderly, the homeless and the sick this week, remembering that some 15,000 people, many of them elderly, died in France during a 2003 heat wave.
The country's prime minister Edouard Philippe cited the heatwave as evidence of climate destabilisation and vowed to step up the government's fight against climate change.
In Italy, temperatures in Milan forecast to hit 40C (104F), an aid group said it was preparing to distribute 10,000 bottles of free water to the homeless and other needy people.
About half of Spain's provinces are on alert for high temperatures, which are expected to rise as the weekend approaches.
The northeastern city of Zaragoza was forecast to be the hottest on Wednesday at 39C (102F), building to 44C (111F) on Saturday, according to the government weather agency Aemet.