Hot spell to last until next weekend at least – Met Éireann

‘Light showers’ unlikely to have much impact on drought conditions across country

Units from four stations were required to battle a gorse fire in Sandyford, Dublin. Video: Dublin Fire Brigade

 

A break in the weather could be on the horizon by this time next week but rain is by no means certain, Met Éireann has said.

“We are going to see very warm weather in the low- to mid-20s for the rest of this week and although there may be some light showers in the west on Wednesday and the possibility of heavier ones also in the west on Friday,” forecaster Liz Gavin said.

“There is no real sign of any break in the weather before the weekend.”

She said the “light showers” that did occur would be unlikely to impact on the drought conditions across much of the country, stressing it was difficult to say with much certainty just how much rain would fall this week.

Children play on parched grass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park this week as high temperatures continue. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Children play on parched grass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park this week as high temperatures continue. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The long-term forecast is much the same as it has been now for more than three weeks.

High pressure

“Next weekend high pressure will still be around, and that is likely to be the case into the following week too – although there are some indications that there may be a more general breakdown on Sunday or Monday of next week, but that is still very far away in forecasting terms,” she said.

Given the low-moisture content in soil after weeks with no rain, it is likely to take at least a full week of sustained downpours before water levels in lakes, rivers and reservoirs start to recover.

There is no sign of such rain on the horizon as yet, and the drought-like conditions which have already seen Irish Water impose a national hosepipe ban and night-time pressure reductions could be extended to the commercial sector in the days ahead.

Northern Ireland Water workers filling a tanker from the mains in south Belfast before transporting to top up a low level reservoir this week. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire
Northern Ireland Water workers filling a tanker from the mains in south Belfast before transporting to top up a low level reservoir this week. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

The hot dry weather is continuing to cause problems for firefighters around the country, and the Defence Forces were once more called in to assist in bringing fires in the Wicklow mountains and across the Slieve Bloom mountains on the Laois/Offaly border under control over the the weekend.

The Air Corps deployed helicopters to assist local authorities in fighting large fires in the Slieve Blooms, and have dropped more than 100,000 litres of water on the outbreaks in an effort to bring them under control.

It has also responded to requests to help with fires in Dublin, Wicklow, Limerick, Cork, Tipperary and Offaly and all told has dropped over 400,000 litres of water using specialised equipment.

Monitoring the situation

A spokesman for Dublin Fire Brigade said while no units were required in the Dublin mountains on Sunday afternoon, its staff, in conjunction with officials from forestry service Coillte, were monitoring the situation “very closely”.

Dried-out grassland at the foot of the papal cross in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Dried-out grassland at the foot of the papal cross in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Wicklow Fire Service spent much of the weekend tackling gorse fires in mountainous areas around the Sally Gap, with support from the Air Corps. It has continued to urge people to avoid the area and warned people against using barbecues or lighting fires.

The Military Road between Glencree and Sally Gap crossroads was closed on Sunday, and the fire service said that with “residual smoke and the smell of burnt vegetation which clings to clothes and vehicles, there is currently no amenity value to the area”.