An unprecedented weather warning for high temperatures across the country has been extended for an extra day as the scorching conditions continue.
Six counties have been under an Orange alert since Tuesday, while the rest of Ireland has been under a Yellow warning as temperatures hit 30C nationwide.
The warnings were initially in place until 9am on Friday, but one has now been extended for a further 24 hours as the hot weather shows no sign of abating.
Met Eireann has prolonged the national Yellow alert until 9am on Saturday morning as the mercury continues to hit the high 20s and 30s.
The national forecaster says things will really sizzle in the six counties under the Orange warning, which is still in place until 9am on Friday, – Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath.
Maximum temperatures will exceed 30C in some areas in these counties and overnight temperatures will drop no lower than around 20C.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country under the Yellow alert will also experience rock-splitting sunny spells.
From now until Saturday, the high temperatures will continue with hot conditions by day and staying very warm and humid at night.
Daytime maximum temperatures will generally be 27 to 30C with overnight values not falling below 15 to 19C.
However, it is expected that conditions will take a dramatic change after the weekend after a roasting week.
From Saturday onwards, the high temperatures will start to gradually decrease into the mid-20s and lower, with showers and rain on the way from the middle of next week.
Met Eireann said that when it comes to the national outlook from Friday night onwards, while it will be warm at first with some showers, temperatures will gradually fall back closer to average over the coming days.
They said: “Friday will be very warm or hot with good sunny spells.
“Scattered heavy showers or thunderstorms will develop in south Leinster and drift through the midlands into south Connacht and north Munster through the afternoon.
“Largely dry and sunny elsewhere with showers less likely to occur. Highest temperatures generally of 26 to 29 degrees. Less hot in east Leinster and south Munster with highs of 23 to 25 degrees due to a moderate easterly breeze.”
On Friday night, showers will continue in Munster overnight, “with mainly dry weather elsewhere with prolonged clear spells. Humid and very mild with temperatures not falling below 15 to 17 degrees, along with light northeast winds.”
Saturday will be “cloudy at times across Munster and south Leinster where scattered showers will affect coastal counties.
Met Eireann said: “Holding mainly dry elsewhere with isolated showers and sunny spells. Less hot than recent days with highest temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees, highest in the west, slightly cooler along the east coast due to a light to moderate northeast breeze.
“Any lingering showers will die out early in the night, becoming dry with clear spells in most areas, but some cloud around also. Lowest temperatures of 12 to 15 degrees with winds falling light and variable.”
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On Sunday, there will be “sunny spells with well scattered showers”.
“Quite warm too with highest temperatures of 22 to 25 degrees in a light or moderate northerly breeze. Largely dry and clear overnight however showers will move onto northwestern coasts towards dawn. A mild night with temperatures generally holding above 14 degrees,” the forecaster added.
Monday will bring further showers, with the weather looking even more changeable from Tuesday onwards.