| 9.6°C Dublin

Sunburn and pollen warnings as heatwave continues

THE sunburn index and pollen count will be high this week as the country basks in glorious sunshine.

The country is moving into a mini heatwave with temperatures as high as Tenerife, Florence and Madrid.

The mercury is set to hit 22C over the next week, pushing winter well behind us.

Met Eireann says there is a "hope and expectation that the temperatures will exceed" the highest recorded so far this year of 22.2C during the March heatwave.

Coastal areas can expect a slight chill from sea breezes, so sunbathers should head inland to get the best of the weather.

The sunburn index will be high and the pollen count will start to rise so experts advise us to use sunscreen and take hay fever medication.

Britain is on course for the hottest summer in almost a decade, forecasters said.

There are predictions that within weeks the Olympics host country could be experiencing up to 38.5C and it is already having its hottest days so far this year.

Weather Services International says a "pressure blocking" system which caused recent summers to be cool and wet has now moved away.

Chief meteorologist Dr Todd Crawford said: "We expect a summer pattern more like 2002-2006 with above normal temperatures."

Jonathan Powell, forecaster with Vantage Weather Services added that this summer would see "spikes" of hot weather.

"There are going to be some very hot periods of weather as summer kicks in."