Sunday 24 February 2019

Rare warning as Ireland faces the highest temps in more than 40 years

Joe and Rachel Flood with their son Harper
Joe and Rachel Flood with their son Harper
Serkan and Sophie Sarihan with Lexi, a Siberian husky
Brazilians Fernanda Valverde and Gissa Pereira at Portmarnock beach yesterday

A rare Status Yellow heat warning could be issued this week with temperatures set to soar to 30C or more - the highest in over 40 years.

Met Eireann is expected to issue the warning on Wednesday, when temperatures are forecast to exceed 27C.

Ireland had a taste of this week's heatwave yesterday when the mercury soared to 26C in some places.

"It's possible we'll get 30C or more," forecaster Deirdre Lowe said of the peak temperatures expected by Friday.

For the first time in recent memory, nights will remain warm, with the mercury hovering in the mid to high teens.

The Mediterranean-style nights are expected to kick in today or tomorrow.

While some temperature records are likely be broken this week, it is unlikely they will match the blistering 33.3C recorded in Co Kilkenny in 1887.


"But I think we will break some records," said Ms Lowe, with temperatures forecast to rise as the week progresses.

The last record was set in 1976 when the mercury climbed to 31.6C in Co Clare.

We will not be far from that as the high pressure system hovering over Ireland remains in place.

In fact, Ireland will be hotter than the Algarve in southern Portugal.

The same plume of hot air from Spain - dubbed the Spanish Blowtorch by forecasters - will also see the UK sizzle, with temperatures exceeding 33C over the next 10 days.

Today will be another hot and mostly sunny day with some hazy conditions as temperatures hover between 24C and 27C inland, with onshore breezes making it slightly cooler along coasts.

The same hot, dry and sunny conditions will prevail nationwide for the remainder of the week, with temperatures rising to the mid to high 20s each day and peaking on Friday, according to Met Eireann.

It is too soon to tell if the heatwave will continue into the weekend.

"We're not 100pc certain what will happen next weekend, except that it will be very hot on Saturday," said Ms Lowe.

There is a threat of a more typical Atlantic frontal system moving in on Sunday, bringing the possibility of thundery outbreaks, but it is still too early to say if that will materialise, added Ms Lowe.

In the meantime, it is all about sunshine and blue skies, which may disappoint holidaymakers who have booked flights to the Mediterranean.

According to a National Lottery survey, only one in 10 Irish holidaymakers plan to spend their vacation at home this summer.

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