herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Leinster to get the best of the sunshine today

Nicola Moran and Ríona Moore, both Castleknock pictured enjoying the sun at The Phoenix Park yesterday.
Nicola Moran and Ríona Moore, both Castleknock pictured enjoying the sun at The Phoenix Park yesterday.
Snoozing in the sun at The Phoenix Park yesterday
The Beach at Sandycove yesterday.
Baby Elephants enjoy a good soaking in The Summer Sun at Dublin Zoo yesterday.

Ireland will prove to be a country of two halves again today as the east is set to bask in the sun, while its western counterpart will experience cooler weather.

Dublin, Wexford and Meath can expect warm and humid weather with some hazy, sunny spells. However, there could be cloudy periods to break the sunshine and a risk of thundery showers breaking out towards this evening. Temperatures could hit 25 degrees again today.

The west of the country will be cooler and cloudy with scattered outbreaks of rain spreading inland and heavy in places. Highest temperatures will hit 20 degrees.

READ MORE: Thousands flock to beach on the hottest day of the year

The east coast sizzled in a summer heatwave yesterday while parts of the south and west cursed both dense cloud cover and rain showers.

Temperatures soared to over 27 degrees along the eastern seaboard as the heat and sunshine prompted a number of safety warnings.

Thousands flocked to beaches in Dublin, Wexford and Meath - delivering an economic God-send for beach traders, café owners and food suppliers.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce also predicted an economic boost thanks to over-heated workers and shoppers flocking to street cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Sandwich makers estimated a 50pc hike in trade as people savoured picnics in the sunshine in St Stephen's Green and the Phoenix Park and along Dublin's canals.

Leading ice-cream supplier HB confirmed it expected to sell 200,000 ice creams per day throughout the current heatwave. HB marketing director Nigel Thomson said: "With the heat taking hold, we have seen a huge increase in ice-cream sales over the last week."

One unexpected consequence of the weather was a series of bizarre UFO-shaped cloud formations over Dublin.

The phenomenon - known as Lenticular Clouds or Altocumulus Lenticularis - is a cloud form that is generated in the troposphere and can have an unusual perpendicular alignment due to wind direction.

The saucer-shaped 'objects' caused a stir, but a spokesperson for Met Éireann said: "These saucer-shaped formations can look quite spectacular. People tend to notice them because they look like UFOs. But they're perfectly normal and quite common."

However, the heat prompted a number of safety warnings. Dublin Fire Brigade appealed to people to exercise caution as they were forced to battle gorse fires in Howth and Killiney.

Irish Water Safety again urged everyone to adhere to safety guidelines and to use beaches which were supervised by lifeguards.

The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) also warned people to exercise maximum care when sunbathing or enjoying outdoor activities in the sunshine. IPU vice-president Daragh Connolly said parents should take particular care with children and urged them to use loose-fitting clothes, hats, sunglasses and proper sun creams.

Temperatures will begin to dip by tomorrow with an increased risk of showers in many areas. Rain is expected on Friday.

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