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Status Yellow hot weather alert as Ireland set for near-record temperatures and very warm nights

The Department of Agriculture has issued an ‘orange’ forest fire warning 

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Youngsters jump off Schull pier in Co Cork to cool down. Photo: Andy Gibson.

Youngsters jump off Schull pier in Co Cork to cool down. Photo: Andy Gibson.

Youngsters jump off Schull pier in Co Cork to cool down. Photo: Andy Gibson.

People are being urged not to light fires in and around forests or open land as temperatures soar.

The Department of Agriculture has issued an ‘orange’ level forest fire warning, meaning there is a high fire risk, which will remain in place until next midday Wednesday July 20.

People are being urged not to cause or light figures in and around forests or open land, and to dispose of smoking materials responsibly. 

The department also said that people should not attempt to intervene or fight fires. 

"We have issued an orange forest fire warning arising from weather patterns and expected level of risk,” it said.

It comes as Met Éireann has issued a hot weather warning for this weekend and into next week with temperatures set to reach 32C.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be "exceptionally warm” with daytime temperatures of 25C to 30C generally and possibly up to 32C in places on Monday.

A nationwide Yellow weather alert has been issued with Met Éireann warning of a risk of water-related incidents, an impact of heat stress especially for more vulnerable people, and a high UV index.

The warning comes into effect from 6am on Sunday and lasts until 9pm on Tuesday.

The country will also experience ‘tropical nights’ with night-time temperatures ranging from 15 to 20 degrees.

The weather warning comes as forecaster Evelyn Cusack said Monday could be the hottest day on record.

“We’re in for a hot spell - we won’t call it a heat wave because it won’t last long enough - but certainly for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we’ll have temperatures widely across Ireland of at least 27C and 28C,” she told Newstalk.

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“So, on Sunday it could get up to 30C and then on Monday it will be the hottest day and we could get up to 32C.

“So, we are even looking at possibly breaking our record, but it will certainly be very hot for Ireland – although our continental friends think we’re crazy thinking that 30C is hot, as that is just a normal summer’s day for most of southern Europe.”

The highest temperature ever recorded in Ireland was the 33.3C recorded at Kilkenny Castle in 1887, while the hottest July temperature ever recorded by Met Éireann was the 32.3C recorded in Roscommon in 2006.

Meanwhile, despite some early cloud today, it will brighten up this afternoon and evening, with widespread sunny spells developing.

Highest temperatures will be between 18C to 24C, warmest in the south and southeast.

It will be cooler across western and northern coasts due to a light to moderate northwesterly breeze. Tonight will be dry with long clear spells. Patches of mist and fog will form near calm conditions, with low temperatures of 8C to 12C.

Tomorrow morning, the fog will clear and there will be some hazy sunshine.

It will turn cloudier in some areas during the day but will remain mainly dry with some possibly isolated showers.

Ireland will see temperatures rise tomorrow, with highs of 21C to 26C, warmest in central parts of the country, with a light to moderate southerly breeze.

It will be dry tomorrow night with a chance of isolated showers

For Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park, it will be very warm and dry with widespread hazy sunshine.

Highest temperatures will be between 22C to 28C, warmest in central parts and the east, while south to southeast breezes will be light to moderate.

Sunday will be a rather warm night with temperatures remaining above 14C to 17C. It will be dry and clear with light southerly winds.

According to Met Éireann, Monday could surpass last Tuesday as the hottest day of the year so far as temperatures rise between 26C to 29C degrees – with a chance of 30C to 32C degrees in some parts.

The warm weather will continue into Tuesday but is expected to end in the early days of next week as temperatures fall back to normal.

And with the very high temperatures forecast in the coming days, the HSE is advising people to be sun smart and wear plenty of sunscreen especially between 11am-3pm when UV radiation from the sun is greatest.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland with almost 13,000 cases diagnosed each year and this number is rising rapidly

The HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) advises that for children up the age of one, it is best to keep them in the shade and wear clothing that covers their skin when outdoors.

It is better to keep babies up to six months old away from the sun by using shade and clothing rather than sunscreen. However if they are exposed to the sun, parents are advised to use a sunscreen that is for babies such as sensitive or toddler sunscreen.

Dr Blaithin Moriarty, Consultant Dermatologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital said: “Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun can damage DNA in your skin cells and cause skin cancer. So if you’re planning on being out in the sun this summer we are encouraging everyone to take action to enjoy the sun safely by following the simple Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s.”

Follow the Healthy Ireland SunSmart 5 S’s to protect your skin:

  • Slip on clothing that covers your skin such as long sleeves, collared t-shirts.
  • Slop on sunscreen on sun-exposed areas using SPF minimum 30+ for adults and 50+ for children which has high UVA protection and is water-resistant. Re-apply regularly. Sunscreen cannot provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
  • Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Seek shade such as sitting in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight, especially between 11am and 3pm. Use a sunshade on your buggy or pram. Keep babies and children out of direct sunlight.
  • Slide on sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes.

Separately, the ISPCA is also reminding pet owners to keep their pets cool, hydrated and in the shade as they can get dehydrated very quickly. It is important to ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and access to shade from heat.

ISPCA Public Relations Manager, Carmel Murray said: “Refresh and refill your pets water dish more often than on a normal day and keep it in the shade. You can also add ice cubes to your pet’s water to keep it cool and avoid using steel bowls as they will absorb the heat.

"Ensure they have access to shade, and keep them indoors in cooler rooms when the heat becomes too extreme. It is best to walk dogs early in the morning and late in the evening when the sun is less strong and temperatures are cooler.

"Before walking test, the asphalt or concrete surface you plan to walk your pet on with the back of your hand. Dogs have sensitive paw pads and can burn their feet. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s likely too hot for their feet.”

Know the warning signs of heatstroke in pets:

  • -Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry or pale gum
  • Weakness, stupor or collapse

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