A warm and sunny June moved towards a stunning close this week, with another exceptional spell of weather.
Temperatures hit 30 Celsius (86 Farhenheit) for the third successive day yesterday.
The mercury rose to 30.2C in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, the UK’s second hottest place after Porthmadog, Wales (32.5C).
Castlederg has repeatedly been the hottest place in Northern Ireland since the first warm weather in April. To put the hot spell in context, most years in Northern Ireland has no day as high as 30C.
An earlier batch of good weather began on May 23, after which the hottest daily temperatures in Northern Ireland were above 20C every day until June 10, often well above.
Fine weather returned last weekend, with a maximum of 21.7C at Derrylin on Saturday.
On Sunday a number of places passed 25C (77F) — Castlederg led the way with 25.4, then Derrylin (25.3), Thomastown (25.0). The east of the Province was also warm, with Katesbridge, Co Down, 24.5C.
This was almost as hot as Great Britain: Balmoral, Scotland’s hottest, was 24.6C, Heathrow, England’s, was 26.5C.
On Monday, temperatures move higher, with Castlederg 26.7C. Teddington, London was even hotter (30.1C). The north Antrim coast however did not make 20C that day.
On Tuesday Castlederg and Derrylin both hit 27.1C, hotter than anywhere in Scotland but below Cheshire (30.7C).
On Wednesday Castlederg was the only place in Northern Ireland to hit 30C, one of the five hottest UK spots. Derrylin was 28.6C, Bangor 28.2C. Scotland had one its hottest ever June days, 31C (Aviemore).
Porthmadog in Wales was UK hottest, 31.9C (89F).
On Thursday, Derrylin and Thomastown in Fermanagh were 30.5C (87F), just below NI’s hottest ever level of 30.8C. Armagh Observatory and Glasgow both had their hottest recorded temperatures: 30.4C and 31.9C. Porthmadog hit 33.0C, UK hottest of 2018.
John Wylie, of the Met Office, said: “There has been an extraordinary spell of high temperatures Province-wide. It is rare even in high summer to get three days of 30+C. July 2013 was the second hottest calendar month on record, but only one day was over 30C.”
Night time temperatures have also been high this week.On Monday night/Tues morning the minimum temperature at Stormont Castle was 13.3C, which means it was never cooler than that. Tues night/Wed morning, the minimum in Banagher, Fermanagh was 16.3C. The next night Bannagher was again the most mild place, never below 16.4C – more like a day temperature.
Overnight Thursday, Lough Fea was not below 15.7C.
Northern Ireland is dry and sunny this weekend, but not wall-to-wall sun and with heat edging down to mid 20sC. Next week looks mostly good.
• Sat June 23 Derrylin 21.7C, Castlederg 21.2C
• Sun 24 Castlederg 25.4, Derrylin 25.3, Thomastown 25.0, Katesbridge 24.5
• Mon 25 Castlederg 26.7C
• Tue 26 Castlederg 27.1C, Derrylin 27.1 C
• Wed 27 Castlederg 30.0C
• Thu 28 Derrylin 30.5C, Thomastown, 30.5C, Armagh Observatory 30.4C
• Fri 29 Castlederg 30.2C