Top temperatures of 28C are being forecast for later

Today is officially the hottest day of the year so far.

Met Éireann has recorded temperatures reaching 28.7C at Shannon Airport and Oak Park in Carlow.

Phoenix Park in Dublin recorded a high of 24.5C, while the mercury at Dublin Airport reached 23.2C.

A status yellow high temperature warning for Ireland remains in place for the country throughout the week.

The hot and dry spell has put pressure on water supplies, and it is expected that water restrictions will be put in place if the heatwave does continue as forecast.

Irish Water says demand is increasing while sources - especially the main raw water storage reservoir at Poulaphouca - are dropping at similar rates to previous droughts.

The utility said a special team is meeting on a daily basis to monitor supply and demand around the country.

Kate Gannon from Irish Water is appealing to people to be mindful of their usage

She observed: "Don't use hoses to water your garden - if you are going to water things, water them late in the evening.

"Avoid washing your cars, avoid power-hosing. If you are going to have a paddling pool for the kids, please keep it as shallow as possible.

"Also consider taking four to five minute showers, as opposed to taking baths."

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

The potential drought has led to calls for supermarket Lidl to pull its plans to begin selling large back garden paddling pools form next week.

The pools need up to 7,500 litres of water.

The supermarket chain said they contain a filter - so they don't need to be drained and filled every time they're used.

A spokesperson noted that the offering is “no different to products on sale at this time of year from other retailers.”

Image: Lidl

Meanwhile Coillte has upgraded its forest fire warning to ‘Condition Red’ as the heatwave continues.

Spokesperson Mick Power said this year’s conditions said the current conditions make it easy for fires to spread.

People are being advised not to light barbecues outside designated areas and to take extra care when disposing of cigarettes

File photo shows a blue bottle fly (Calliphoridae) | Image: Hinrich Bäsemann/DPA/PA Images

The number of flies also looks set to increase as the heatwave continues.

Pest control company Rentokil said it recorded a 74% increase in call outs for fly infestations in the first five months of this year.

It is warning homeowners and restaurants to fly-proof their kitchens and picnics.