Severe weather warning as temperatures hit 30 degrees!

As the mercury climbs as high as 30 degress Celsius in the midlands today, everyone is making the most of the glorious sunshine.

However, according to local weatherman Cathal Nolan, the scorching temperatures and unstable air mass have all the ingrediants to produce severe thunderstorm activity throughout this afternoon, this evening and overnight.

'It seems inevitable that these temperatures combined with a destabilizing upper level trough and a very humid air mass will produce some strong thunderstorms across parts of the midlands later today,' Cathal posted on his Midlands Weather Channel page.

'The very high temperatures are expected to build CAPE levels to between 1800 and 2200 K/joules. This energy initially will be capped by layers of warm air associated with the high pressure.

'However as the day progresses this cap is set to weaken, and when this occurs rapid cumulonimbus development is likely to occur. Essentially its the same process as boiling a pot with its lid still on it. When you release the lid the built up steam generally expands upwards rapidly. 

'The Lifted Index for today, again another parameter used in the forecasting of thunderstorms, is expected to reach between -8 and -9. Generally speaking for severe thunderstorms to occur a Lifted Index of -7 or lower is needed.'

According to Cathal, the storms may very well initially develop across the western half of the country, so areas such as West Offaly, the Lough Ree basin, and parts of Roscommon and Longford are initially most at risk.

'However during the late afternoon and evening I expect these storms to develop more widely across the Midlands possibly last well into the night,' he said.

And where these storms do occur, 'its likely that large hail, frequent lightning, strong winds and disruption to electrical services may well occur. In the heaviest downpours its possible for rainfall totals to reach between 30 and 50 mm.'

Cathal went on to say that forecasting thunderstorms is one of the most difficult tasks meteorologists face.

'They are highly complicated situations with a certain series of ingredients needed which must occur in a certain order.'

So enjoy the sun! Wear sunscreen, and if the storms do arrive, take cover!