Twelfth sees scorching heat across Province

The Morrow family Simon, Dylan, and Beth playing in the sun at Whiterock Beach in Portrush.
The Morrow family Simon, Dylan, and Beth playing in the sun at Whiterock Beach in Portrush.

It was one of the hottest July 12ths on record in Northern Ireland yesterday.

Blazing temperatures across the Province were only fractionally lower than Great Britain.

Fermanagh was the epicentre of the blistering conditions, with the thermometer touching 29.1 degrees Celsius (84.4 Fahrenheit) in Thomastown, just behind the hottest place in the UK: Bramham in Yorkshire, at 29.2C.

Derrylin, also in Fermanagh, was Northern Ireland’s next hottest at 28.8 (83.8 F).

It was scorching too in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, at 28.7 and Katesbridge, Co Down, at 28.5, which was as hot as anywhere in Scotland or the Republic, where Fife, the Borders, and Dublin also reached 28.5.

Temperatures elsewhere in Northern Ireland included a maximum of 27.7 at Aldergrove.

But the hot weather in Ulster is set to cool from today.

A spokesman for PA Meteogroup told the News Letter: “A weak cold front is slipping south into this area of high pressure. It might produce the odd spot of drizzle here and there. There will still be bright spells, but more in the way of cloud.

“The air will be cooler, but still warm, at around 23 Celsius in the south of Northern Ireland.”

The hot spell lasted for almost a week, during which the Province was at or above the hottest temperatures in southern England, which is typically far more likely to have continental-style heat.

On Monday, Castlederg climbed to 29.5C (85.1 F), just behind the UK’s hottest place that day of Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire at 29.6, and not far off Northern Ireland’s all-time record of 30.8 (87.4 F). On Thursday, at 28.8C, Castlederg was hottest in the UK.

Another unusual aspect of the warm weather was the night time heat. On the eleventh night, the minimum temperature at Stormont was 16.9C (62.4 F). This means that at no point between 7pm and 7am did the warmth dip below that level, which would be a respectable day temperature.

Until the cold spell of late 2010, Northern Ireland’s position as the part of the British Isles with the most moderate climate was evident in the fact that it had been neither above 90F nor below Zero F.

England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland had all experienced weather both above and below those extremes.

But on December 24 of that year, Castlederg reached minus 18.7 C, which is —1.7 F.

At the other extreme, Northern Ireland has still not broken 90F ( 32.2C).

l Were you an Orangeman marching in the heat? Let us know how you got through it, by mailing or calling 028 3839 5577. Phones manned from tomorrow.