Ireland to experience ‘long sunny spells’ as status orange fire warning issued

High of 17 degrees one degree below annual average summer high, says Met Éireann

Ireland is set for a weekend of “good, long sunny spells” which is expected to see people flocking to the countryside to enjoy high temperatures close to the summer average.

The best of the weather will be on Sunday with good long sunny spells developing across the country and high temperatures of up to to 17 degrees with light southeasterly breezes, according to Met Éireann.

The national forecaster said Friday would see the start of three days of fine and pleasant weather with plenty of sunny spells.

While there may be “the odd, isolated shower” over the coming days Met Éireann said the high of 17 degrees is about one degree below the annual average summer high.

However the forecaster warned against taking to the sea or inland lakes and rivers, given that March water temperatures are still well below summer levels.

Met Éireann meteorologist Paul Downs said water temperatures at this time of year could be quite shocking, particularly to those who have been enjoying the sunshine and he advised “good caution” to be taken by anyone near the sea or lakes.

Mr Downes also drew attention to a status orange warning from the Department of Agriculture for a high risk of fire, as the land is heavy with dried vegetation.

Status orange is the mid level of three, colour coded warnings which may be issued is for unusually dangerous conditions.

Reiterating the department’s advice Mr Downes asked people to not light fires and to be very careful if they were doing so.

‘Slop on’ protection

With temperatures set to reach 17 degrees by Friday afternoon the HSE National Cancer Control Centre also issued a warning to people to be “sun smart” and protect their skin when outdoors. It said skin cancer is the State’s most common form of cancer with more then 13,000 cases annually.

The advice from the HSE is to cover skin as much as possible and to “slop on” sunscreen. A wide brimmed hat, remaining in the shade and wearing sunglasses are also recommended.

The sunny weather is set to continue through the weekend with long sunny spells across the island and only the odd, isolated shower.

However the weather is set to turn from Monday , with a calm and dry start followed by cloudy periods and sunny spells with some isolated showers developing.

Tuesday is expected to be more cloudy as the winds turn northerly and bring a cold change to the weather. It will be dry initially but a few showers will develop later in the day

Wednesday should see a further decline in conditions as cooler air blankets the country with scattered showers feeding down throughout the afternoon and evening. It is expected to be noticeably colder too with highs of 6 to 9 degrees in a brisk northerly wind.