Ireland’s heatwave to continue after hottest day of the year

Swimming warnings issued for two Dublin beaches, while public urged to conserve water

Relaxing in St Stephen’s Green, during the hot weather in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Relaxing in St Stephen’s Green, during the hot weather in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

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Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far, and forecasters are expecting the high temperatures to continue throughout today and tomorrow.

The highest temperature yesterday was 30.8 degrees in Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon, followed closely by Newport, Co Mayo, and Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where temperatures reached 30 and 29.5 degrees respectively.

The highest temperature of the year had previously been recorded on Saturday with 29.6 degrees at Durrow, Co Laois. The highest temperature ever recorded in Ireland was 33.3 degrees at Kilkenny Castle, on June 26th, 1887.

A status orange high temperature warning is in place for Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath until 9am on Friday. A yellow weather warning is in force for the rest of the country.

Met Éireann meteorologist Matthew Martin said temperatures would hold today and tomorrow before cooling at the weekend.

“We have had an area of high pressure over Ireland for the past number of days,” he said. “That is going to stay with us through Thursday. It is probably going to drift further east and begin to decline towards the weekend.

“We are expecting some very hot weather on Thursday and into Friday, but then turning a little less warm for the weekend.

“The sunshine on Thursday will be a little hazier and there will be some high cloud. Overall, temperatures will probably hit about 30 degrees again in the midlands.

“Into Friday, they could reach 29 or 30 degrees again, but there will be some thunderstorms that will break out over southern counties. For Saturday, it will be a little less warm and there will be some light rain in Munster and Leinster.

“We have a high temperature warning in place until Friday but the intense heat will leave us for the weekend.”

Mr Martin said temperatures at most of Met Éireann’s stations were above 27 degrees yesterday, but cooler in some coastal areas. Malin Head, Co Donegal, recorded a high of just 17 degrees due to some low cloud and mist from the sea.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland reported its hottest day on record for the second time in five days.

On Saturday, Ballywatticock, Co Down, reported the North’s highest ever temperature of 31.2 degrees. That was surpassed yesterday by Castlederg, Co Tyrone, which reported a temperature of 31.3 degrees.

Separately, swimming has been ruled out for a second north Dublin beach this week after elevated levels of bacteria were detected in the water.

Fingal County Council has issued a “Do Not Swim” notice for Burrow Beach in Sutton due to water pollution. The bathing ban will be in place until at least Friday. A bathing ban warning issued for South Strand is Skerries has been extended until Friday pending the results of tests.

At both beaches the bacteria has been attributed to “the impact of animals and birds as well as contamination of urban surface waters”.

Elsewhere, Irish Water urged the public to conserve water to ensure a consistent supply as demand continued to rise due to the high temperatures.

“Demand for drinking water has increased very significantly in many supplies across Galway,” it said.

“At the same time, due to the dry weather and high temperatures, water source levels are dropping.” Tim O’Connor, Irish Water’s operations lead for Galway, said the current extra demand, combined with reduced capacity, was “not sustainable”.