Fun in the sun as Ireland outshines Lanzarote on hottest day of year
Parts of Ireland were hotter than Lanzarote yesterday.
On the hottest day of the year so far, the mercury spiked at a sweltering 26.1C at Met Eireann's weather station in Newport, Co Mayo, and reached an impressive 25.8C at Shannon Airport.
Meanwhile, the holiday hotspot of Lanzarote managed only 23C.
However, as forecaster Pat Clarke pointed out, it wasn't wall-to-wall sunshine everywhere in Ireland yesterday.
"It varied a lot, it was just 16C at Malin Head, that was because of the wind blowing in from the sea," he said.
It was a balmy 20C in Dublin, according to weather stations at Dublin Airport and the Phoenix Park.
While the sun-starved Irish public is often keen to label any spell of good weather a "heatwave", meteorologists beg to differ.
A heatwave is officially five consecutive days when temperatures are five degrees above normal. While yesterday reached that all-important five degree threshold, it's not going to continue for the coming days.
"For it to be a heatwave we would need five days of temperatures reaching 25C every day, so no, it's not a heatwave," said Mr Clarke.
Normal temperatures for the end of May are in the high teens and the good news is that they will certainly be above this for some time yet.
Today is set to be warm and mostly dry, with top temperatures of 22C to 25C, but cooler in the south and east.
"It won't be as high as [yesterday] but there is still a lot of warm weather about," said Mr Clarke.
"But increasingly, as we head towards the weekend, the thundery downpours that are currently over England are heading over to us.
"Thursday, Friday and Saturday look like they will be very showery with temperatures in the low 20s. The showers won't hit everywhere."
Meanwhile, motorists have been urged not to leave their pets alone in cars during the hot spell as, even with a window left open, temperatures can still reach dangerous levels.
AA Ireland's director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said that in a survey of 4,000 motorists, almost 40pc admitted leaving their pet alone in the car.
"Leaving your pet unattended in your car is a poor practice all year round, but it can cause serious damage to the animal or even prove fatal in the current temperatures," Mr Faughnan said.
"If your car is left sitting in the sun without windows open, the internal temperature can rise to dangerous levels quite quickly, putting your beloved family pet in serious danger.
"Even if you're only running into the shop for five minutes or you think it's OK once you crack a window open, we are imploring motorists to exercise caution to avoid causing any harm to their animals."
The fine weather has also sparked a run on barbecues.
Woodies commercial director Damien Dwyer said sales of gas barbecues have doubled in the hot weather and shops are gearing up for their busiest weekend of the year for plant buying as homeowners get outdoors.