Ireland will be hotter than Lanzarote this week as parts of country set for heatwave

Ireland is set to be hotter than sun spots such as the Canary Islands and Morocco with temperatures expected to rise into the mid-20s this week.

It's time to stock up on the Factor 50 and make the most of the summer sunshine, as the country heads closer to an official heatwave.

The glorious weather experienced at the weekend is set to last until Thursday, according to Met Eireann.

Temperatures of 27 degrees are expected for the first half of the week, making Ireland hotter than holiday hotspots such as Tenerife, Lanzarote and Morocco, where temperatures there are predicted to reach between 24 and 26 degrees.

Sun-seekers enjoyed a sizzling weekend across Ireland, where temperatures soared to 27C.

Parks and beaches were swarming with people basking in the summer heat, with barbecues and 99 ice creams in great demand.

Many seasonal events and festivities taking place over the weekend got a welcome boost from the good weather.

Galway was awash with colour on Sunday as hundreds of walkers and joggers were pelted by powdered paint at the Irish Cancer Society's NUI Galway Colour Dash. A different colour of powder paint, representing different cancers and survivorship, was thrown at the sun drenched participants at each kilometre mark as they made their way to the 5K finish line.

The sunshine also brought record numbers to the Cork Summer Show yesterday, toasting the 27,000 people who enjoyed the various farming competitions and festival atmosphere.

Meanwhile, it was up, up and away at the annual Dublin Kite Festival. Hundreds descended on Dollymount beach yesterday to gaze in awe at a sky full of beautifully designed kites in all shapes and sizes. Thankfully, conditions were just windy enough for the giant kites to soar.

The Dalkey Book Festival saw thousands of literary enthusiasts attracted to the seaside town over the weekend to witness a world-class line-up of renowned and inspirational speakers.

Tens of thousands of revellers also attended the Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens, which was transformed into a grazing ground for contented-looking gourmands.

And people can continue to enjoy the summer sun, as the pleasant weather is expected to continue... until it changes on Thursday, that is.

Met Éireann predicts more dry and sunny weather for today, with top temperatures ranging between 23C and 27C.

If the good weather continues, part of the country could be set for a heatwave. But be warned: thunder storms could dominate the horizon in the evenings.

While the majority of the country will bask in sunshine, Connacht and Ulster will not be as lucky.

Temperatures in the north and west of the country are not expected to exceed 19C.

Tomorrow will bring another day of sun, with temperatures as high as 26C predicted for the south-east, although north-easterly winds will make the day slightly cooler as it progresses.

Liz Walsh, forecaster for Met Éireann, says if the weather stays above 25C for another two days then it can be classed as an official heatwave.

"A heatwave is defined as five consecutive days where maximum temperatures stay or exceed 25C.

"It looks as if parts of Leinster and Munster are heading towards one, but not all parts of the country have experienced high temperatures.

"Connacht and Ulster were not so lucky over the weekend, with many parts experiencing just 16C and cloudy skies.

"We're definitely on the course to a heatwave, but we'll just have to wait and see what the weather will be like today and tomorrow."

"It's hard to say if Dublin will experience an official heatwave, but I predict Munster and South Leinster will," she said.

Ms Walsh added that there was a risk thunder storms could hit the country on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately by Thursday, temperatures are going to plunge back to 10C-15C. I encourage people just to take what they can get and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts," she said.

Meanwhile, an 11-year-old boy from Cork was saved by the Irish Coast Guard and local volunteers after getting into trouble while swimming in Youghal harbour.

The schoolboy was airlifted to Cork University Hospital when he was recovered from the harbour after spending three minutes under the water.

A Garda spokesperson said the boy was not seriously injured in the incident.

Just minutes earlier, his nine-year-old brother had to be rescued after getting into difficulties while swimming with friends at the harbour.

Meanwhile the rest of Europe is baking under the heatwave, heatwave with temperatures of 31 degrees recorded in London on Sunday.

UK forecasters predict the mercury will peak at 33 degrees on Monday.

Some parts of Spain reached 42 degrees over the weekend and 15 provinces are on orange alert this week, -meaning significant risk for high temperatures.

Read other news on the city site of Dublin.

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