Met Éireann issues orange thunderstorm warning but no let-up in scorching heat

Met Éireann issues orange thunderstorm warning but no let-up in scorching heat

People enjoying a bit of shade at Portmarnock Beach. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Today is the last full day of the current heatwave, with status yellow and orange higher temperature warnings due to expire at 9am on Saturday.

The Mercury is expected to hit highs of near 30C again today, but there is a risk of thunderstorms in places today.

A status orange thunderstorm and rain warning has been issued for Galway, Clare and north Tipperary.

Met Éireann said: "A line of intense thunderstorms moving through parts of counties Galway, Clare and north Tipperary this afternoon and early evening will bring lightning, hail and torrential downpours giving localised flooding in places, with very hazardous driving conditions."

A status yellow thunderstorm warning has also been issued for the whole country.

According to the forecaster, these will develop later in the afternoon and evening over counties in the midlands, west and south, bringing some locally heavy downpours and the risk of spot flooding.

The warning is valid from 1pm this afternoon until 8pm this evening, with the orange warning in place until 7pm.

Heavy showers are will linger throughout the night with temperatures dropping down to around 14C to 17C.

Alan O'Reilly from Carlow weather said conditions over the weekend will still to be good, however, it won't be as hot as in recent days.

Temperatures will continue to be very high in western areas, especially on Saturday," he said.

"It will be a little bit cooler in the east, and into Sunday then warming up again, even in the East so temperatures once again, above, possibly 25C, so a very warm weekend with just the odd shower."

West Cork basked in another sweltering hot day today, with temperatures in the high 20's. The Warren Beach was packed with holidaymakers. The ice-cream van did a roaring trade. Picture: Andy Gibson.
West Cork basked in another sweltering hot day today, with temperatures in the high 20's. The Warren Beach was packed with holidaymakers. The ice-cream van did a roaring trade. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Meanwhile, the public is being reminded of the dangers of open water and lake swimming after five people, including two teenage boys, lost their lives in separate drowning incidents in the last week.

Gerard O'Flynn, operations manager for the Irish Coastguard, issued a warning to anyone planning to enter the water, swim only "in areas where there is a lifeguard or other groups of people; never swim alone and let people know when to expect your return".

The ESB has also issued a warning that reservoirs such as Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid in Co Cork are not suitable for swimming due to the risk of deep and fast-flowing currents, changing water levels and uneven ground.

Sweltering and blistering sunshine to continue throughout the coming days

Jakub Tyloch, Youghal, on the beach after being kite surfing in East Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Jakub Tyloch, Youghal, on the beach after being kite surfing in East Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Sweltering heat and blistering sunshine is set to continue for the weekend throughout the country, as an increasing number of scientists point to the unusual patterns as irrefutable evidence of climate change.

Met Éireann said the national outlook is for the country to be "warm or very warm in some parts over the weekend", with some showers or thunder in parts, before some semblance of normality is restored next week, with cooler temperatures.

"While there will still be a lot of dry weather, the risk of shower will increase from Sunday onwards," the forecaster said.

Patricia Mangan and her son Sean from Portmarnock with their surfer dog, Nuget pictured this afternoon enjoying the final days of the heatwave at Portmarnock Beach. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Patricia Mangan and her son Sean from Portmarnock with their surfer dog, Nuget pictured this afternoon enjoying the final days of the heatwave at Portmarnock Beach. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Tomorrow will again see the mercury reaching 30C in the Midlands, but even the most ardent sun-worshippers are coming to realise the lengthy heatwave is not a normal event.

Coastal areas, including Cork and Kerry, will not reach those temperatures, though they will still come into the mid-20s during the day and stay in the high teens through the night. Valentia, in Co Kerry, recorded Ireland's first tropical night in 20 years, with temperatures not dropping below 20.5C. 

Such events are rare and are believed to only have happened six times in the digital record, according to Met Éireann.

Saturday

Looking ahead, the west of the country will see the most sunshine on Saturday, while the east of the country will see a little more cloud. 

"Some isolated showers may develop in Connacht and Munster through the evening. Slightly cooler than recent days with highs of 20C to 26C generally, possibly higher locally in the west but slightly cooler along the east coast in a light to moderate northeasterly breeze," it said.

Carmen Cobis and Nisier Aguero, both from Panama, on Burrow Beach in Sutton, Dublin, on Thursday. Picture: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie
Carmen Cobis and Nisier Aguero, both from Panama, on Burrow Beach in Sutton, Dublin, on Thursday. Picture: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Sunday

Sunday will also see sunny spells, but with some scattered showers developing in the afternoon, according to Met Éireann. 

"Staying quite warm too with highest temperatures of 22C to 26C, but feeling a little more refreshing in light to moderate northerly breezes. Largely dry and clear overnight, however, showers will move onto northwestern coasts towards dawn. A mild night with temperatures generally holding above 14C," it said.

 Adam and Fiach Scarff, Dublin on the beach at Inchydoney, west Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan
Adam and Fiach Scarff, Dublin on the beach at Inchydoney, west Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan

While the sunshine and high temperatures have lifted the national mood after weeks of rising Covid-19 cases, it should not be ignored that the extreme weather is further evidence that the climate crisis is worsening, scientists have warned.

National broadcaster RTÉ and various media outlets in Ireland have been criticised for not doing more to link the extreme weather with climate change. 

Climate crisis worse

Katie Keane, left, and Kelsie Nicholl, both from Tallaght, celebrate Kelsie's 22nd birthday on Thursday at Portmarnock beach. Picture: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin
Katie Keane, left, and Kelsie Nicholl, both from Tallaght, celebrate Kelsie's 22nd birthday on Thursday at Portmarnock beach. Picture: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin

In a letter, the Irish Doctors for the Environment (IDE) said the scale of current extreme weather has led to the conclusion that the climate crisis across the globe is actually worse than has previously been considered.

IDE, a non-governmental organisation and registered charity consisting of doctors, medical students and allied healthcare professionals, said to report on extreme record-breaking weather events without mentioning climate change was as "egregious as reporting on the unprecedented spike in ICU admissions last April without mentioning a global pandemic".

Not doing so represented an "abject failure of journalism", it said. 

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