Thursday was hottest day of year so far with 26.8 degrees recorded in Roscommon

Water limits extended on Aran Islands; seven weather stations record ‘absolute drought’

Barbara Miranda and Thalita Quaresha, from Brazil but living in Dublin 8, pictured enjoying the fine weather at Sandycove in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Barbara Miranda and Thalita Quaresha, from Brazil but living in Dublin 8, pictured enjoying the fine weather at Sandycove in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

 

Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far with the highest temperature of 26.8 degrees recorded at Mount Dillon, Co Roscommon.

Many parts of the west and midlands recorded temperatures in excess of 25 degrees.

The fine weather is likely to stretch into next Wednesday which means almost everyone will have a dry and sunny June bank holiday weekend.

Thursday is likely to be the hottest day, but temperatures on Friday will reach highs of 24 to 25 degrees. Some rain may fall along western coastal fringes on Friday night, but no other rain is forecast for the week.

Similar conditions can be expected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tuesday will be slightly cooler and temperatures will fall back to normal on Wednesday next week.

Sunbathers enjoying the fine weather at Sandycove on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Sunbathers enjoy the fine weather at Sandycove on Thursday afternoon. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

There is no sign at the moment of rain which is badly needed in most parts of the country.

Restrictions on water will be extended on the Aran Islands from Monday.

Night time restrictions have already been in place on Inis Mór and Inis Oirr for a couple of weeks. They will be extended to Inis Meain from Monday.

Irish Water has stated that, as the islands’ water supply is exclusively from rain, it will have to maintain the restrictions for the coming weeks.

Irish Water’s lead engineer for Galway Tim O’Connor warned that the long-range weather forecast indicates very little rain will fall in the next four weeks and restrictions are currently necessary.

Drought

Since the Covid-19 lockdown, seven weather stations have experienced an “absolute drought” which is 15 consecutive days without rain. They are Claremorris, Belmullet, Phoenix Park, Dublin Airport, Newport, Dunsany, Finner Camp and Casement Aerodrome.

Drought-like conditions have been most apparent in Dublin where the Phoenix Park had 42 days from March 18th to April 28th in which just 5.8mm of rain fell.

Very little rain has fallen this month so far either. Just 9.5mm of rain has fallen to date; the average for May in Dublin is 59.5mm. The forecast suggests no rain will fall in the capital for the foreseeable future.

Irish Water has asked the public to conserve water. There has been a 20 per cent increase in household usage since the lockdown and the fall off in commercial and industrial use has not compensated for the extra domestic usage.

Members of the public have been advised to exercise caution around water safety during the good weather.

A five-year-old girl has been airlifted to hospital in Co Kerry on Thursday after floating a mile offshore on an inflatable lilo.

The alarm was raised after the child was pulled out to sea off Littor beach on the southern shore of the Shannon estuary in north Co Kerry.

A spokesman for Valentia Coast Guard said the Shannon Rescue 115 helicopter was called to the scene at 2.50pm on Thursday. The Kilrush RNLI lifeboat also attended the scene.

Gorse fires

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has issued a status red warning for gorse fires for the duration of the bank holiday weekend. The warning arises from increased temperatures and low rainfall levels.

The Irish Coastguard has reminded the public to exercise caution in the water following two call outs in West Cork on Wednesday. It warned the public that in spite of the high temperatures on land the sea is still cold.

Shortly after 2pm emergency services received calls when four teenage boys got in to trouble in the water in Inchydoney.

The Rescue 115 Shannon, Courtmacsherry RNLI, gardaí and the ambulance service responded.

The teens were taken from the water shortly after. Two of the teenagers were suffering from hypothermia and required medical intervention.

Nearly an hour later Union Hall RNLI was tasked by Valentia Coastguard amid reports that two swimmers were missing in Glandore in West Cork.

In a statement Union Hall RNLI said they received a report at 3.20pm yesterday that two swimmers were missing in the area.

Lifeboat

The lifeboat ILB Margaret Bench of Solihull launched with three volunteer crew from Union Hall.

The lifeboat commenced a search in Glandore but shortly after the two swimmers arrived into the pier. The volunteer crew were stood down and returned back to the lifeboat station at 4pm. Also on the scene were Toe Head/Glandore Coast Guard Unit.

Following the call out Deputy Launch Authority Jim Moloney said it was a “false alarm with good intent.”

“If you are going swimming always let someone know where you are going and what time you are due back at, and always respect the water,” he said.

Kevin O’Hagan, cancer prevention manger with the Irish Cancer Society, said: “One of the simplest things you can do to protect your skin from UV rays is to stay in the shade particularly between 11am – 3pm, even on cloudy days as much as 90 per cent of UV rays can reach your skin and cause damage that can lead to skin cancer later in life.

“When in Ireland wear sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher from April to September to reduce your risk of skin cancer. But remember that using sunscreen alone will not give enough protection against UV rays.

“It is important to use shade, clothes and sunglasses too. In this way you get the best possible protection from UV damage.

“Finally, check with Met Éireann for the daily UV index. Get into the habit of checking the UV Index as a reminder of the need to be sun smart every day from April to September.”