Met Éireann issues five-day 'High-Temperature warning' while Irish Water urges people to 'conserve water'
- Risk of water rationing as the country prepares to sizzle in sun
- Irish Water urges householders and businesses to conserve water
- Utility may introduce night-time water restrictions
- Today temperatures will peak at between 24C and 27C
- Temperatures as high as 30C expected for Friday
- Met Éireann issue High-Temperature warning for the country
- Met Éireann forecaster: This week 'could well be' the hottest June weather since 1976
Met Éireann has issued a five-day 'High-Temperature' warning with temperatures expected to exceed 27C this week.
Forecaster Harm Luijkx declared this morning; "The heatwave is officially here".
The nationwide warning was issued at 6am this morning and will be valid until 9pm on Friday.
Irish Water has warned that it may have to implement water restrictions as the country is set to swelter in a 30C heatwave this week.
The utility has urged householders and businesses to conserve water as supplies are now at serious risk in the greater Dublin area, as well as Donegal and the midlands, particularly in Athlone and Mullingar, parts of Offaly and Kilkenny.
The Dublin region alone is currently using 600 million litres of water a day, which is close to the maximum level of water that can be treated on a daily basis.
Irish Water may introduce night-time water restrictions.
According to Met Eireann, this week "could well be" the hottest June weather since 1976, which hit spikes of 31 degrees.
Highs yesterday included 26 degrees at Shannon Airport and areas of Cork. The forecaster advised that inland counties will experience the hottest temperatures, while coastal counties will be slightly cooled by "pleasant" sea breezes.
While it will cool down to around 13-15 degrees in the evening, the forecaster advised that night is not long enough to cause homes to lose heat.
"The night is short and the day is long," explained Mr Luijkx on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.
"Temperatures will be around 13 and 15 which is not enough to get rid of the heat in the house."
Temperatures may peak as high as 30C by Friday, making Ireland hotter than Portugal's Algarve.
Irish Water will be meeting this morning to assess the situation. In a statement released last night, it said: "If demand consistently meets or exceeds supply, there may be water outages in the greater Dublin area as Irish Water manages the network and tries to minimise the impact on homes and businesses.
"Irish Water's drought management group has been meeting regularly to assess at-risk supplies that include the midlands - particularly Athlone and Mullingar - parts of Offaly, Kilkenny, parts of Donegal and the greater Dublin area, where demand for treated water almost meets supply availability regularly."
Currently, the supply of untreated water in reservoirs serving the greater Dublin area - the Varty reservoir at Roundwood and the Poulaphouca reservoir in Co Wicklow - are "reasonable and we do not see shortages at present".
However, if the current dry spell continues, "they may come under pressure later in the year".
"The main pressure is on treated water capacity, which, along with our treated water storage, can meet the normal daily range of demands at present.
"However, in the recent dry spells, we have seen a significant increase of the order of 20-30 million litres per day, which reaches and occasionally exceeds our maximum production capacity. This is not sustainable on a long-term basis without some management action," said the utility.
Met Éireann has said temperatures are set to climb steadily in the coming days as the heatwave takes hold.
The mercury soared to 26C in some places yesterday. By 8pm last night, it was still 24C at the weather stations at Mount Dillon, in Co Roscommon and in Mullingar. Today temperatures will peak at between 24C and 27C.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, forecaster Deirdre Lowe said: "It is possible that we will get 30 point something (temperatures)" by Friday.
Temperatures will remain warm at night, with the mercury hovering in the mid to high teens.
Ms Lowe said that while some records were likely to be broken this week, it was unlikely they would match the blistering 33.3C recorded in Kilkenny in 1887.
The last record was set in 1976 when the temperature climbed to 31.6C in Co Clare.
Meanwhile, a charity has appealed for donations of water and sunscreen to distribute to homeless people in Dublin this week.
Inner City Helping Homeless said it would be setting up "hydration stations" from this morning to help keep people hydrated in the hot weather. It said: "No public water fountains or access to water is a grave concern, especially for those who are spending extended periods on the street."