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Heatwave fizzles out with heavy showers forecast

By Allan Preston

Published 21/07/2016

Portstewart Strand on Tuesday
Portstewart Strand on Tuesday
Portstewart Strand yesterday
People enjoy the hot weather on the beach at South End on Sea, Essex
An ice-cream van gets into trouble on Benone Strand on Tuesday
Tuesday’s sunshine... Wednesday’s clouds

Sunbathers were forced to pack away their beach towels yesterday as balmy temperatures in Northern Ireland plummeted.

At a sweltering 28C, Tuesday was the hottest day of the year so far for Northern Ireland. The sand on Portstewart beach was barely visible with cars packing the seafront and an estimated 1,800 visitors. But yesterday, as temperatures fell to 18C, it was a much different, sparser picture on the seafront - with barely a surfer in sight.

Ice-cream van drivers who had enjoyed a roaring trade on Tuesday, took a licking yesterday.

On Benone Strand, one in particular found himself almost washed out as the tide rose around his vehicle.

The cooler conditions will be welcomed at least by the penguins in Belfast Zoo, who needed extra shade, lollipops and sprinklers on Tuesday.

In stark contrast to the grey skies over Ulster, the sun shone on Essex, with Southend-on-Sea beach resembling Mediterranean resorts with temperatures reaching 30C.

Over the coming days a return to tropical conditions in Northern Ireland appears unlikely.

A dry start with sunny spells is forecast for today with heavy evening showers expected and maximum temperatures of 20C.

Weekend temperatures are to peak at 19C, with a dry and bright Friday and Sunday, but with some showery rain on Saturday developing in the afternoon and evening. Northern Ireland is expected to escape the brunt of thunderstorms predicted for parts of the UK today.

Belfast Telegraph

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