Ireland sweltered in the hottest day of the year yesterday – and it looks like we have reached the peak of the heatwave.
he mercury soared to 30.8C at Mount Dillon in Co Roscommon yesterday, shy of the hottest day of recent times when 32.2C was recorded in 2006.
Met Éireann’s Emer Flood told the Irish Independent last night: “For this spell of hot weather, I think we have peaked because it will gradually become more unsettled from Friday onwards.”
The highest temperature of the year on the island of Ireland was also reached today as 31.3C was recorded by the UK Met Office at Castlederg, Co Tyrone.
Other hotspots yesterday included Mayo where in Newport, the temperature topped 30C and Claremorris where it reached 29C.
Ireland’s all-time heat record was a blistering 33.3C recorded at Kilkenny Castle in 1887.
Met Éireann’s Status Orange heat warning for Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, will continue until 9am tomorrow with maximum temperatures expected to exceed 30C in places and overnight temperatures not falling below a sticky 20C.
Likewise a Status Yellow high temperatures warning for the entire country, with daytime maximum temperatures reaching between 27C and 30C and nighttime temperatures of between 17 and 20C, also continues until 9am tomorrow.
According to Met Éireann, this weekend will not be as hot as the past couple of days – however, temperatures will still be warm in the low to mid-20s.
Ms Flood said last night: “It got up to 30C in some parts locally, and the hottest temperature we recorded was 30.8C.
“It’s expected to get close to that temperature tomorrow – but there will be a bit of cloud around and the sunshine will be a bit more hazy, and it might cap the temperatures, but still very warm and hot day. If the cloud breaks it could get up to 30C again.”
A particular feature of this heatwave – the high nighttime temperatures – will continue for another few nights yet.
“This is quite unusual for Ireland, with overnight minimum temperatures of 20C being recorded on just five occasions since records began,” said. Met Éireann meteorologist Liz Coleman.
The outlook for the next few days is that it will continue to be hot with humid nights and the heat may spark thundery showers at times. However the heatwave will begin to loosen its grip over the weekend and into next week as it becomes slightly cooler.
However for today, temperatures will again reach 30C in places, although the sunshine may be hazy in places. The heat will be pegged back along southern and eastern coasts due to onshore breezes.
Tomorrow will see top temperatures of 25-29C, again slightly lower along southern and eastern coasts.
Saturday will be slightly cooler with highest temperatures reaching 18-21C in the east and 21-25C elsewhere.
Met Éireann says Sunday will see a mix of cloud and sunny spells, with top temperatures of 22-25C generally, and a degree of two lower along coasts.
The heat has drawn thousands of sunseekers to the country’s beaches, including Galway’s ever-popular Salthill where Sharon Culkin, from Cregmore, spent the day with her daughters Saoirse and Cliodhna and nephew Conor Rafter.
“It’s gorgeous. It’s absolutely lovely. Where else would you want to be on a day like this?
“Galway is the best place to be. The kids are happy, the sun is out, and life is good.”
Locals and visitors packed the beaches along the prom with families travelling from as far away as Laois to toast in the tropical conditions.
Friends Amy Kirk, Aisling Carroll, Abbey Harding, Leonie Stynes travelled from Abbeyleix to Galway to enjoy a night on the town and a day recovering on the beach.
All aged 18, the school friends opted for a few days in Galway rather than a trip abroad to celebrate the end of their Leaving Cert.
“We wanted to go abroad, but we thought Galway would be the next best thing,” says Amy.
We had a brilliant night, and the weather is exactly what we hoped for.”
Year-round Salthill swimmers Carol O’Neill and Anita Kinsella, both from Galway city, described the conditions as heavenly.
The friends brace freezing temperatures for the bulk of the year, so Carol says that the Mediterranean can’t compare to Galway on days like this.
“We are coming here an awful long time. And days like this are all too rare.
“We had a heatwave about three years ago, and we spent the two weeks down here on the slipway with our grandchildren.
“We swim in winter as well, so this is heaven.”
Both Carol and Anita are devoted to Salthill in all conditions, and the only issue they have is the lack of bins.
“I am here every morning at 7am, and it’s disgusting. There should have big wheelie bins out.”
Gesturing to a steaming pile of rubbish laying against the sea wall, Carol said: “It’s piled high over there. It’s not right. It’s horrible. It’s disgraceful.
“I think the people who are selling the pizza and the drink in Salthill should contribute to the bins.
Anita added: “If you observe the children, they are very good. They ask their mothers where to put their rubbish, and their mothers don’t know because there isn’t a bin anywhere.
“It’s shocking; it’s filthy.”