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Image / Editorial

Ireland’s heatwave looks set to last – here’s everything you need to know


by Erin Lindsay
26th Jun 2018
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Sun-lovers rejoice – the hot weather is here to stay. With temperatures steadily climbing over the last few days, we are now in the throes of a full-blown heatwave, with temperatures reaching the high twenties all week long. We’re loving it. You’re loving it. Long may it last.

But, as we all know, we Irish are not so used to this fine weather. Rain (warmer rain in the summer and freezing rain in the winter) is more our bag. We’d be forgiven for absolutely losing our minds when we finally get such tropical conditions (which we do), but there are a few guidelines you need to know before running out the door into the scorching sun this week.

What’s the forecast?

Met Éireann have said that the national forecast looks to be fine, hot weather countrywide this week. Today (Tuesday) will see highs of 22 to 28 degrees in some areas, while tomorrow (Wednesday) sees clear skies and temperatures of up to 30 degrees. Thursday and Friday will be the hottest days of the week according to the met office, with temperatures possibly reaching 30 degrees in some areas.

The high pressure, which is bringing the fine weather, looks set to last into the weekend, but Met Éireann have said that it is likely to weaken by then, possibly allowing some frontal systems to push across the country, bringing slightly lower temperatures. But at this point, the good weather is set to go the distance.

Hot weather warnings

If you can believe it, Met Éireann have issued a status yellow ‘high-temperature’ warning for the entire country, valid from today until Friday evening at 8 pm.

Breaking records

Do not adjust your screen – temperatures in some areas this week look set to reach over 30 degrees, and there is a possibility of Friday being the second hottest day on record in Ireland. The hottest temperature ever recorded was in 1887, where the thermometer reached 33.3 degrees in Kilkenny, and it looks as though Friday may be hot on its heels (sorry).

Why are we getting this weather?

Meteorologist with Met Éireann Joanna Donnelly explained the current weather in a tweet last week, which gave us her forecast for RTÉ Drivetime. According to Donnelly, the warm weather is due to “a big blocking anticyclone” moving up towards Ireland from the Azores. The anticyclone will allow the temperature to rise day on day, while the air descending from above will clear any clouds. The nights are considerably cooler, as there is no cloud cover, but as the sun heats the earth and air, each morning this week will start from a higher temperature point, which is why it will be hotter each day.

Water restrictions

Irish Water has warned that they may have to implement water restrictions as a result of the climbing temperatures, hinting at night-time restrictions. As temperatures near 30 degrees, the Dublin region is currently using 600 million litres of water per day, putting water supplies at serious risk in the capital, as well as Donegal and certain areas of the midlands. People are urged to take showers instead of baths, and keep their water use to a lower level.

Do’s and Don’t’s

We know you’re ridiculously excited to get out into the sun, but before you do, take your safety and the safety of those around you into account.

Do

  • Apply sunscreen – at least factor 30, and make sure to reapply every few hours.
  • Stay hydrated – try to drink as close to two litres of water per day, and up your intake if spending considerable time outside.
  • Check in on vulnerable neighbours or family members – the heat can adversely affect those who are unwell or not mobile, so make sure to check in and make sure they have everything they need.
  • Take showers – not baths. Baths use on average 80 litres of water, whereas a seven-minute shower only takes 49.

 

Don’t

  • Leave dogs in the car – even if the window is cracked. If your car is parked in direct sunlight, it heats up very quickly. Think of how horrible it is to get back into your car after it being in the sun for a few hours; don’t do that to your dog.
  • Go swimming in restricted or unmanned areas. Only swim at beaches that are locally recognised as safe to swim, preferably with a lifeguard. Do not swim at reservoirs or lakes, as these can have dangerous drops or unmarked deep water.
  • Drink too much alcohol. Everyone likes a cocktail in the sun, but alcohol causes dehydration and drinking for prolonged periods in hot weather is a recipe for heatstroke.
  • Forget to cover up. SPF should be top priority – and don’t neglect your easily-burnt areas like scalp, feet and shoulders. Cover up with some chic accessories and save your skin.

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