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Get ready to roast...but not for long

GRAB the sun tan oil and be quick about it. An African heat wave is on the way. A sizzling weekend is promised but just as quickly as it arrives it will end abruptly with heavy thunderstorms.

Temperatures are being pushed up dramatically by what experts call a "Spanish plume" system.

It happens when a gap between high pressure over northern Europe and low pressure over the Atlantic combine to suck up hot air from Spain and north Africa. The downside of the sudden high temperatures is showers and thunderstorms.

The Spanish plume effect starts today, spreading from Spain and France across the UK to Ireland.

We can expect the mercury to hit 25C in many places over the weekend, especially on Sunday in the east and south-east. By late Sunday evening, however, thunderstorms will move in from the north-west.

Tomorrow will begin cloudy with outbreaks of rain but there will be warm and bright conditions as the day progresses, with temperatures in the 20s.

While a few bands of rain are expected in Munster, Connacht and Ulster on Sunday morning the rest of the country will enjoy another even warmer day with bright sunny spells, particularly in the south-east.

On Monday, the dry weather will continue but punctuated by those thunderstorms.

Tuesday will be cool and breezy with heavy showers or longer spells of rain and lighter, less frequent showers are expected on Wednesday with temperatures between 14C and 17C.

csheehy@herald.ie


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