Province unlikely to share in Britain’s mini-heatwave this weekend

Enjoying the weather near Holywood in Co Down during the last hot spell of this summer.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Enjoying the weather near Holywood in Co Down during the last hot spell of this summer.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

As Britain prepares for a mini-heatwave this weekend, it’s business as usual on this side of the Irish Sea with plenty of drizzle and hill fog forecast.

After a bright start in most areas on Saturday, cloud is expected to thicken from the west bringing outbreaks of rain later in the afternoon.

The south to southwesterly winds are also likely to pick up considerably leaving temperatures below 17C.

Although temperatures are expected to improve on Sunday, the sun is expected to make only fleeting appearances between the cloud with highs of 21C.

There could be a slight improvement on Monday and Tuesday with longer, brighter spells of sunshine forecast.

It is a much brighter picture in England where some areas are expected to be hotter than Barcelona of the Canary Islands.

Higher than average top temperatures of 28C are being forecast as the summer weather returns are weeks of unsettled conditions.

Other parts of the country will bask in temperatures of 25C (77F) or 26C (78.8F), with Wales enjoying 24C (75.2F) sun and temperatures in Scotland hovering around the 22C (71.6F) mark.

The upturn is also good news for football fans who will flock to grounds for the first weekend of the new league season.

After a roaring start to July, with its hottest ever day on July 1 of 36.7C (98F) at Heathrow, much of the rest of the month was a damp squib.

The improved weather this weekend will be a welcome boost for those holidaying at home and parents desperate to get children outdoors during the school holidays.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with weather organisation MeteoGroup, said dry and sunny weather is likely across much of the Britain throughout the weekend, with temperatures above the average of 22C (71.6F) in England for this time of year.

He said: “Today (Saturday) is probably going be the better of the two days in general across the UK.

“Temperatures are looking at getting up to 25C (77F) or maybe 26C (78.8F) in the South East, with the London area seeing the highest temperatures.

“On Sunday it will reach up to 27C (80.6F) or 28C (82.4F), again in London, but with around 26C (78.8F) quite widely across England, especially in central and south-eastern parts of the country.”

The improved weather will be good new for the organisers of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a largely dry day on Saturday and just the odd chance of a shower in the evening and Sunday.

With temperatures expected to reach the high 20s over the weekend bookmakers have slashed their odds on August being the hottest on record in the UK.

Coral has cut its odds from 3-1 to 2-1, and the firm has seen a flurry of money being bet on this month beating previous highs.

The bookmaker also has odds of 8-1 for the UK to have the hottest year on record.

John Hill, from the firm, said: “Before the month got under way, August was well backed to be the hottest on record as punters were banking on a heatwave.

“Following another flurry of bets, we are now starting to sweat over this gamble being landed as temperatures are set to rise once again over the weekend.”