Dublin is to bask in scorching sunshine as temperatures hit mid to high 20s today
Ireland will be "sitting on the edge of a hot plate" today as a Europe-wide heatwave that has already claimed several lives on the continent pushes the mercury to a sizzling 28C.
Met Eireann has issued a status yellow heat warning for six counties as temperatures are expected to top 27C in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick by this afternoon.
The warning for vulner- able people to take precautions against excessive heat is valid from 1pm to 7pm this evening.
While Dublin and the rest of Leinster are not included in the warning, the capital will be sizzling today and temperatures could reach up to 27C on Saturday.
Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said hot winds from the Sahara that have led to record-breaking temperatures of more than 40C in parts of Europe were fuelling the influx of hot, humid air over Ireland today and the rest of the week.
"We're not on the hot plate but on the edge of it," he said.
Most areas can look forward to a warm and sunny day today, with temperatures ranging from 22C to 28C in the west and mid-west. Leinster and south Munster will be slightly cooler.
Despite increasing winds at times in coastal areas tonight, conditions will remain warm this evening and tonight as the mercury hovers between 13C and 17C.
Tomorrow will see more of the same with highs of between 24C and 27C with spells of sunshine, but cooler conditions along the east and south coasts.
Conditions will cool down slightly on Saturday to daytime highs of between 20C and 25C, and feel even cooler on Sunday, with a normal range of between 18C and 20C.
Meanwhile, South Dublin residents fed up with closed beaches due to pollution from water treatment facilities learned it could be years before the upgrade to the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant is completed.
A spokesperson for Irish Water said it was "working to provide infrastructure to achieve compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive for a population equivalent of two million by the end of 2022".
"When all the proposed works are complete in the mid-2020s, the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant will be able to treat wastewater for up to 2.4 million population equivalent, while meeting the standards of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive," the spokesperson said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs issued a travel alert to all Irish holidaymakers that a status orange warning for high temperatures is in place in France, where at least three people have died due to "thermal shock" while swimming.
On Monday, a 70-year-old man died while swimming at Marseillant-Plage, and the next day two died under similar conditions, a woman (62) and a man (75).
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said the country was on high alert with temperatures up to 45C.
French President Emmanuel Macron has also issued a heat warning.