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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# hot spell
Status Yellow High Temperature warning issued for Leinster and Munster
The warning is to stay in place until Sunday morning.

MET ÉIREANN HAS this afternoon issued a Status Yellow high temperature warning for the entire of Leinster and Munster. 

The warning will be valid from midday on Thursday and will run until Sunday at 6am. 

Forecasters have warned of a hot spell set to send temperatures soaring up to 29 degrees to develop tomorrow and last through the rest of the week.

Warm and sunny weather is expected today with highs of 26 degrees in certain parts of the country.

The national forecaster is predicting that the mercury will remain at the mid to high twenties across the country in the coming days, with temperatures to stay “uncomfortably warm” overnight too.

Should temperatures exceed 25 degrees for five consecutive days, the incident will be classified as a heatwave under Irish metrics.

Met Éireann have cautioned that the warm weather poses the risk of heat stress, especially for the vulnerable, a high Solar UV index and an increased likelihood of water-related incidents.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has also warned drivers to take care in the heat and be cautious of “sun glare”.

Sun glare can result in drivers being temporarily dazzled or blinded by the intensity and brightness of the sun.

Drivers should wear sunglasses and watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, particularly at junctions and crossing points.

The RSA has also advised drivers to have adequate drinking water supplies in the car, and take extra care of children and pets in hot vehicles.

The resurgence in high temperatures has raised alarm bells for the welfare of the homeless community once more, with Dublin City Council coordinating with service providers to ensure that shelter will be available in the event of extreme weather. 

In a statement today, the council said that street outreach teams will be providing water and shelter to rough sleepers, as well as promoting the use of social media among the public to report people sleeping rough throughout the hot spell.

Temperatures are also set to rise across the UK, with a heat health alert coming into place following a series of hosepipe bans and fire warnings.

Alone, the national organisation which supports older people to live at home, has advised older people to keep cool and hydrated in the coming week, and to take regular breaks from the sun.

They are urging older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the heatwave to call for assistance if needed.

“While it’s great to be able to get out and enjoy the good weather, we are reminding older people to take care and exercise caution in the heat, as this is a group which are at risk in extreme weather conditions,” Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone, said.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be very harmful to over 65’s, particularly those who live alone or have existing health conditions. It is important to stay cool, drink plenty of water and to wear sunscreen and a hat when spending extended periods of time outdoors.

We are used to extreme weather in winter but extreme summer weather can cause serious problems also.

The charity has also urged members of the public to check in on older neighbours, friends and relatives during the hot weather to ensure that they have everything they need and that they are keeping safe and cool.

“If there is anything you think you can help with, no matter how small, even dropping in cold bottled water. It could make a world of difference to an older person during these challenging times,” Moynihan added.

The UK Health Security Agency’s amber alert covers southern and central England from midday on Tuesday until 6pm on Saturday, with experts advising people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

The amber heat alert “requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups”, but is one stage lower than the most serious level four red warning issued in last month’s heatwave.

The Met Office said temperatures over coming days will not be as extreme as the record-breaking heat in July when the thermometer climbed above 40 degrees, however it is still likely to rise into the low to mid-30s in central and southern parts of the UK.

Heatwave thresholds – which are met at different temperatures in different parts of the country – are likely to be hit in much of the UK.

Outside the hottest areas, much of England and Wales and south-east Scotland could see temperatures widely in the high 20s, with a chance of a few spots seeing temperatures into the low 30s, the Met Office said.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will also see temperatures in the high 20s and could reach official heat wave criteria by Friday, the forecasters said.

The warning comes after the imposition of hosepipe bans following the driest eight months from November to June since 1976 as well as the driest July on record for parts of southern and eastern England.

Months of low rain have left the countryside and urban parks and gardens tinder-dry, with households in some areas being urged not to light fires or have barbecues.

The Met Office’s fire severity index, an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start, is very high for most of England and Wales, and will reach “exceptional” for a swathe of England by the weekend.

Scientists warn that the likelihood of droughts occurring is becoming higher due to climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human activities.

Climate change is also making heat waves more intense, frequent and likely – with last month’s record temperatures made at least 10 times more likely because of global warming, and “virtually impossible” without it, research shows.

With reporting from PA, Garreth MacNamee and Jane Moore

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