Warnings over thunderstorms and wildfires as Ireland swelters in heat

Soaring temperatures this afternoon and evening may spark thunderstorms in parts of the country, Met Éireann has warned.

As the country experiences a hot and generally sunny day with just some scattered cloud, the accumulation of ‘cumulonimbus’ clouds can act as a warning sign for thunderstorms, the forecaster said.

These dense and towering vertical clouds are most likely to be seen in north Connacht and Ulster today, where Met Éireann has said thunder is most likely.

Meanwhile, Dublin Fire Brigade said good progress has been made in putting out gorse fires in Howth, Co Dublin.

However, the Brigade warned of some small flare-ups as firefighters attempted to extinguish the fires on Shielmartin Hill.

Drones are being used to identify hotspots so the fire service can continue to monitor them.

On Monday, the Brigade said an orange fire warning was in place for vegetation fires as the dry weather continues.

It is expected today could be the hottest day of the year so far. Highest temperatures of 27 to 30 degrees are expected across the country, with sea breezes keeping temperatures slightly cooler at the coast.

Met Éireann has said conditions could be uncomfortably warm and humid tonight, as temperatures remain as high as 26 degrees.

Amid the heatwave, Irish Water has warned a surge in demand for drinking water, coupled with falling supplies, is “not sustainable” and could worsen drought conditions.

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On Tuesday, nine weather stations met official heatwave criteria by recording temperatures above 25 degrees for five days in a row, with more expected to reach the status today.

Earlier this week, Met Éireann issued a status orange warning for high temperatures in six counties where maximum daytime highs will exceed 30 degrees: Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford and Westmeath.

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.

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