Today was officially the hottest day of the year, according to Met Éireann.
This evening, a weather station in Athenry in Galway recorded a high of 29.5 degrees celsius – the highest temperature recorded anywhere in the country so far this year.
Temperatures also climbed above 29.C at a weather station in Mount Dillon, Roscommon, as well as in Grange in Co Meath.
Highs of 28C were recorded at several other locations around the country.
Hottest temperature ever recorded in Northern Ireland
The temperature in Northern Ireland proved to be even hotter today, with the Met Office reporting that Ballywatticock in Co Down saa a high of 31.2C for a time earlier this afternoon, making today the hottest day ever recorded in the North.
Previously, 30.8C was the highest temperature recorded there, reached on July 12, 1983 and June 30, 1976
UV warning issued as sunny spell set to continue
The fine weather is set to continue into Sunday, with highs of between 23 and 27 expected across the country.
With temperatures soaring, people north and south have flocked to their nearest beach to cool off and bask in the summer sunshine.
Ahead of predicted fine weather for the coming days, A high UV warning has been issued and adults are advised to wear at least SPF 30 when outdoors, with children using at least SPF 50.
Dermatology Nurse Specialist at Sligo University Hospital, Celene Daly says the sun can be very damaging to children’s skin.
“It’s vitally important to protect children’s skin because their skin cells are still immature, and we know sometimes it can take 20 or 30 years for skin cancer to actually develop,” she said.
“Sun burning in childhood can actually result in skin cancer in later life.
“Children can also overheat very easy so it’s very important to rehydrate them.”
The public are also being urged to exercise caution if taking to the water this weekend.
Roger Sweeney from Water Safety Ireland says many people have not swum in a long time and need to be aware of the dangers.
“There’s fabulous weather here over the weekend, but people need to ensure that they don’t be lulled into a false sense of security,” he said.
“People often overestimate their ability, they underestimate the risks, and that’s when drownings can occur.
“People have not had swimming lessons for over a year so they cannot be complacent at the moment.”
SAT, 17 JUL, 2021 – 22:41
GREG MURPHY & STEVEN HEANEY