Temperatures widely reached into the upper 20s across the island on Tuesday, as weather stations met official heatwave criteria by recording temperatures above 25 degrees for five days in a row.
Tuesday’s hottest temperature of 29.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at Mount Dillon in Co Roscommon.
With nine weather stations reaching heatwave criteria, forecaster Met Éireann said more were expected to reach it on Wednesday with temperatures likely to rise above 30 degrees in some areas.
Temperatures today have widely reached into the high 20’s Celsius, with a maximum of 29.5°C at Mount Dillon🌡️
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) July 20, 2021
Isolated showers and thunderstorms are meanwhile possible in both north Connacht and south Ulster this evening, with a risk of hail and spot flooding.
As many took to the beach to keep cool on Tuesday, animals at Tayto Park in Co Meath were provided with frozen popsicles made using iced fruits and vegetables to help keep them hydrated, while the park’s pigs were armed with special sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s rays.
“In Ireland, we’re just not used to extreme heat and that includes some of our species at the Tayto Park Zoo,” deputy zoo manager Aisling Power said.
Babe, Tayto Park’s domestic pig, cools down in the heat on Tuesday. Photo: Emma Babington.
Dougie, Tayto Park’s Sulawesi Black Crested Macaque, eats an ice popsicle. Photo: Emma Babington.
Ireland is facing a week of near-record high temperatures, forecasters have predicted, and temperatures could rise above 30 degrees Celsius in some areas on Wednesday and Thursday.
Met Éireann has issued a status orange warning for high temperatures in six counties: Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford and Westmeath.
The forecaster said maximum daytime highs will exceed 30 degrees in these counties and overnight temperatures will drop no lower than around 20 degrees.
A status yellow warning is in place for the rest of the Republic, with Met Éireann predicting hot conditions by day and humid nights with temperatures not falling below 17 to 20 degrees.
Both warnings came into effect on Tuesday afternoon and will remain in place until 9am on Friday.
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) July 20, 2021
Amid the heat, ALONE, an organisation supporting older people, has called on the public to check in on older people to ensure they have everything they need and are keeping safe and cool in the heat.
The organisation is also urging older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the heatwave to call for assistance and help if needed.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has meanwhile reminded road users, particularly drivers, to be aware of the dangers posed by “sun glare” which can temporarily dazzle or blind drivers.
Drivers can reduce the risk of sun glare by wearing sunglasses, and taking particular care when travelling east in the mornings and west later in the day.
Road surface temperatures are also expected to rise significantly in the weather which will make surface-dressed roads of tar or chips prone to softening, the RSA said, leading to bitumen slicks on more minor roads.
Road users are advised to slow down and exercise caution when braking in such situations.
☀️⚠️ Road Safety Alert – High Temperatures
Advice for🚗 drivers, 🚶🏻♀️pedestrians, 🚴cyclists and 🏍️motorcyclists
— RSA Ireland (@RSAIreland) July 20, 2021
Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to enjoy the hot weather in “as safe a way as possible”.
“Be SunSmart, regularly and liberally apply sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, wear light and loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin, wear a hat and sunglasses.
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“Keep yourself cool and hydrated,” Mr Holohan added.
“Other risks to be mindful of during this spell of hot weather are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes.
“Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite and feeling sick, fast breathing or pulse, high temperature of 38C or above and being very thirsty.”