An Orange thunder warning for the eastern half of the country in place for this morning has been lifted by Met Éireann.

Heavy downpours, hail and gusty winds were forecast for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Waterford and Tipperary this morning.

The forecaster warned that temporary surface flooding, combined with hail could lead to hazardous driving conditions in some areas.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has asked the public to be vigilant to prevent forest fires during the spell of warm weather.

The department has issued a Condition Orange fire risk warning, which is in place until Monday.

In a statement, the department said "a high fire risk is deemed to exist in areas where hazardous fuels exist."

The statement says that a combination of high temperatures and moderate winds have increased the threat of fires.

The highest ignition risk is in public areas near urban centres and on areas of open land at risk from illegal dumping and the burning of waste.

Forest owners and managers are advised to prepare for likely fire outbreaks.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity is urged to contact gardaí and to report all fires to emergency services immediately.

The department has also issued the following advice to members of the public:

  • Do not light fires in and around forests or open land
  • Do not attempt to intervene or fight fires under any circumstances 
  • If you are near a fire move to a safe location such as a car park, upwind of the fire 
  • Telephone emergency services via 112 and report the fire and its location
  • Evacuate if instructed to do so, and co-operate with all emergency service instructions

Elsewhere, the heatwave is continuing in mainland Europe with temperatures forecast to rise to 42C across central France today.

Central and eastern parts of England are expected to experience temperatures of 34C today.