It’s hot – but it’s not quite Kilkenny Castle in 1887
Warm weather to continue next week with weekend highs of 29 degrees in east and south
Swimmers cool off at Seapoint, Co Dublin during the heat wave yesterday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Now let’s not lose the run of ourselves just because the sun has been shining for a few days . . .
No records have been broken yet and, while there isn’t going to be any drastic change in the coming days, the weather, to adopt momentarily some technical, meteorological terminology, will take “a bit of a dip” today and tomorrow.
According to Joan Blackburn at Met Éireann, the record to beat dates back to June 1887 when a whopping 33.3 degrees was recorded at Kilkenny Castle – “the ultimate record”, as she says. A little closer to today, the last hot spell was in July 2006 when recorded temperatures included Casement Aerodrome (31 degrees), Kilkenny (30.2 degrees) and Mullingar (29 degrees).
Carlow got in on the act in 1995 registering an impressive 31.5 degrees, but Boora in Offaly came closest to knocking Kilkenny off its perch with 32.5 degrees recorded there on June 29th, 1976 – the record for the 20th century.
The highest recorded temperature so far during the current spell was 29.5, at Shannon Airport on Wednesday. Yesterday, the highest expected temperature was predicted to be around that mark.
The good weather seems set to last, for the most part. “There will be a bit of a dip in the north,” Blackburn said. “It will not be quite as hot and sunny as it has been but that doesn’t mean it is going to get bad.”
The outlook for today and tomorrow forecasts that temperatures in eastern and southern areas could climb as high as 29 degrees.
Those in the northern and eastern areas can expected temperatures of up to 25 degrees over the weekend.
It doesn’t stop there. Met Éireann’s outlook foresees temperatures “remaining well above normal well into next week”. The northwest and west may experience some “patchy rain” on Tuesday.
Night-time temperatures – which is what people find really oppressive, according to Blackburn – will fall a bit over the weeknd.
What would it mean if Ireland was consistently to experience the sort of bright sunny days we have had of late?
Well, the scorched grass verges and toasted playing fields emerging everywhere would be the norm. The Emerald Isle might be transformed into the Amber Isle.
Places with average summer temperatures in the mid- to high 20s include many of the states of America – Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and the midwest states of Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.
But what of closer to home?
“You’d be talking about some parts of France, southern France I’d say,” said Blackburn.
Before people make haste to prepare for the arrival of Châteauneuf du Sally Gap or Côtes du Shinrône, remember it can all change suddenly.
If yesterday’s news about the sun acting up is true, we’re in for an ice age by the end of the month – but not before we’ve had . . . the drought.