MET Eireann has issued a new yellow advisory warning for ‘drought conditions’, with the heatwave forecast to continue until next week.
A ‘Status Yellow Advisory warning’ came into effect on Saturday, June 30, and will remain in effect until this Friday, July 6.
“With little or no rain forecast for most areas over the coming week, drought or near-drought conditions are expected to develop more widely across Ireland,” said the national meteorological service.
Meanwhile, another status yellow warning for high temperatures is still in place in Limerick until this Monday night, July 2. That warning, which had been in place since Sunday (replacing a previous warning last week), could well be extended into the rest of the week, as Met Eireann gains a clearer view of the forecast.
Temperatures will reach at least 27 degrees in Munster today, warned the met service.
A drought forecast for the week increases the likelihood that a hosepipe ban will be enforced across Ireland. Such a ban is already in place in the greater Dublin area.
The Limerick public is being urged to conserve water as demand continues to rise.
The schemes most under pressure in Limerick are Hospital, Oola, Knocklong, Herbertstown, Bruff, Loughill, Newcastle West, Pallasgreen, Doon and Bruff.
Irish Water is due to review the situation this afternoon, and it is expected that more water restrictions will be introduced.
And the drought is very bad news for farmers, who had been praying for rain this week.
Grass growth is practically zero, and many Limerick farmers are feeding precious winter fodder and concentrates to their cattle.
It has also raised concerns that there could be another fodder crisis next winter.