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Ice-creams all round as we bask in the sunshine

By Kerry McKittrick

Jade Galbraith lapped up the sunshine at Crawfordsburn Country Park this week while her dog Bonnie lapped up the ice-cream. People across Northern Ireland have been taking to the streets, parks, gardens and beaches to make the most of a run of unusually good weather.

Temperatures have been hovering around an unseasonal 20 degrees centigrade.

This stunning weather with gloriously blue skies comes after a rather wet and miserable start to the year and is well above the normal average temperatures for May and June.

It's hard to believe that just six weeks ago Northern Ireland was undergoing a cold snap with snow and hail recorded as late as the end of April.

The good weather is set to continue for a few more days yet, with the Met Office predicting temperatures ranging from 20 to 23 degrees.

We might see a bit of rain and some spectacular thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday, though, as there won't be much wind to move the clouds on.

And, for once, we can bask in the sun while other parts of Europe shiver in cold. London has been receiving the kind of weather typical of Northern Ireland at this time of year, with grey skies and temperatures of just 14 degrees.

In France, a week of heavy rain saw the Seine in Paris rise to its highest level in 35 years on Friday.

As a precautionary measure, the Louvre and Orsay museums closed early to begin an evacuation of their undergrounds storage which contain more than 250,000 works of art. The most famous works, including the priceless Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, are safely housed on upper floors of the museums.

This is the first time in the modern history of the Louvre that the museum has been forced to carry out such an evacuation.

There have also been fatalities elsewhere in France, Germany and Romania due to the flooding.

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