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Hot stuff - summer was one of our most sizzling

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Ava Usanova (11) enjoying the sun at Donabate Beach

Ava Usanova (11) enjoying the sun at Donabate Beach

Ava Usanova (11) enjoying the sun at Donabate Beach

The summer of 2018 will go down as one of the hottest and driest on record.

Ireland experienced weather conditions not seen for more than two decades across the country, and record temperatures were set in a number of different areas.

June delivered temperatures higher than 30C in some places, which brought about prolonged drought conditions last experienced in 1995.

Met Eireann said it was the warmest summer in Dublin since 2006, as the capital enjoyed lengthy spells of glorious sunshine.

The unusually hot weather continued into July and saw the introduction of a hosepipe ban.

Water restrictions were also introduced, placing this summer alongside some of the hottest ever experienced in Ireland.

While the summer of 2006 also saw extremely high temperatures, it did not experience the drought conditions seen recently. Similar hot conditions prevailed during the same three months in 1973 and 1983, revealing a pattern of severe heatwave conditions developing once a decade.

Tom Murphy, a climatologist with Met Eireann, attributed the "exceptionally dry and widespread drought conditions" to the record-breaking temperatures.

"The highest temperature recorded last year was 28.5C in Phoenix Park, so there's a difference in the 32C recorded in Shannon this year," Mr Murphy said.

"The summer of 2018 was exceptionally dry, with widespread drought conditions for much of June and July.

Extreme

"Heatwaves prevailed at the end of June going into July and soil moisture deficits were exceptionally high, particularly in the south-east.

"We've seen record-breaking temperatures at Shannon Airport, and Cork Airport reported its driest summer since the records started in 1962."

Temperature stations across the country recorded some of the highest temperatures ever witnessed in Ireland. They all experienced higher than average readings.

The three days up to June 29 saw temperatures rise above 30C in Clare, Tipperary, Roscommon, Galway and Mayo.

Shannon Airport recorded its highest maximum temperature this summer at 32C, the highest ever at the site since it was set up in 1941.

However, while the sunny days delighted children and families on their summer holidays, it wasn't welcomed by everyone.

The extreme hot weather caused chaos for farmers, who struggled to feed their animals and keep their livestock cool.

As air temperatures were rising, rainfall levels fell well below averages for the time of year.

Some parts of the country experienced just a third of their normal amount of rainfall.

Gurteen, Co Tipperary, recorded just 35pc of normal rainfall for the month of July.

In Dublin, the combined rainfall recorded for June and July was the lowest level since records began in 1850.

Just 28pc of the normal rainfall levels fell in the capital.

While June and July proved to be the hottest months of the year, the warm weather continued into August despite wetter than average conditions in the north.

This has been attributed, for the most part, to the remnants of post-cyclone Ernesto.


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