Northern Ireland basks in hottest day of 2016

Enjoying the warm weather at Helen's Bay beach on Tuesday. 
Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker
Enjoying the warm weather at Helen's Bay beach on Tuesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

As predicted by weather forecasters, Northern Ireland basked in the hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday.

The temperature rose to a sweltering 28.0 Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit) at Magilligan and almost as high, 27.9C, at Castlederg in Co Tyrone.

Caitilin Grimley, 18, and Katie McDowell, 18, enjoy the hottest day so far of 2016 in the grounds of Belfast City Hall

Caitilin Grimley, 18, and Katie McDowell, 18, enjoy the hottest day so far of 2016 in the grounds of Belfast City Hall

On Monday it had been a hot 25.9C at Castlederg, but today’s maximum was the highest temperature anywhere in the Province since the third week of July 2014.

South of the border it was even hotter, rising to 28.9C in Claremorris, Co Mayo.

“It was absolutely scorching,” said John Wylie, of the Met Office for Northern Ireland. “It was a hot summer’s day with the north coast the best. Even inland places were high, such as Aldergrove, which was over 27C.”

The conditions were not as warm overnight on Monday and early Tuesday morning as it had been the previous night, when temperatures barely dropped below 18C in some parts of the Province. In some places temperatures dropped to high single figures Celsius overnight on Monday.

Girl and popper the dog at Helen's Bay. 
Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Girl and popper the dog at Helen's Bay. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

The hot weather is set to end tomorrow with a change in air mass.

“The heat wave has come to an end and it is likely to be more normal over the next few weeks,” Mr Wylie told the News Letter. “It might be warm and dry at points but it will struggle to get up this high again.”

Some thunder was expected tonight.

The hot spell was caused by warm air that travelled up to the British Isles from the sub tropics.

Visitors  enjoy  the warm weather and creatures to see at Belfast Zoo. 
Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Visitors enjoy the warm weather and creatures to see at Belfast Zoo. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

There had been an earlier spell of hot weather at the end of May and beginning of June.

The good weather today was enjoyed by crowds of sun bathers in locations ranging from Portstewart to Crawfordsburn beach to Belfast City Hall. Among the people savouring the latter location were Caitilin Grimley and Katie McDowell, both 18, who recently finished their time as pupils at Hunter House. They hope to go to university in the autumn.

Katie said: “It is so hot that feel like I am still in Greece, where I was a few weeks ago.”

Caitilin said: “I am loving it.”

Crowds enjoy Belfast City Hall. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Crowds enjoy Belfast City Hall. Photograph by Declan Roughan