Northern Ireland sizzles as rest of the UK is left in the shade
Northern Ireland enjoyed the best weather in the UK at the weekend as summer made a long overdue return.
Sun worshippers made the most of clear skies and scorching temperatures, which reached as high as 23C yesterday.
Beaches, barbecues and cold beers were the order of the day, with people enjoying the sun on their skin and a chance for family gatherings in the garden.
Ever reluctant to take a day without rain for granted, many folk didn’t miss the opportunity to dust off their shades and visit Ulster’s parks and attractions.
Natalie and Paul Moore from Larne took their sons Ethan (2), and baby Jonah (four months), to Carrickfergus Castle on Saturday.
“Ethan is a big Thomas the Tank Engine fan, so we took the boys on their first train journey to Carrickfergus,” Mrs Moore said.
“Ethan was beside himself with excitement and he got his picture taken with the conductor. The weather was roasting, it was like the Mediterranean.”
Trevor Holland from Portadown and his fiancee Tina McAlinden decided to take advantage of the good weather with a family day out on Sunday with their sons Charlie (3) and Harry (1).
“We moved into our new home on Friday and decided to take a break from unpacking boxes to chill out in the back garden eating ice cream. Then we went to Tannaghmore farm and gardens in Lurgan to visit the petting zoo,” Mr Holland said.
Steve Ellison, forecaster with Meteogroup, said: “It looks as though summer has arrived.”
However, we should expect slightly less favourable weather conditions today and tomorrow, when the mercury will struggle to get into the 20s.
“The top temperature in Northern Ireland on Sunday was 23C in Castlederg. On the satellite, the weather looked really lovely with plenty of blue skies. Today, there will be a maximum temperature of 19C. It will start nice in the east, but cloud and rain will spread from the west to cover the whole of Ireland.
“On Tuesday, it will be cooler again with a maximum temperature of 17C. Rain should clear in the morning to leave just a few showers and some good sunshine.”
Pat Parke, manager of Mauds in Ballynahinch, noticed a definite boost in sales this weekend.
“We have been flat out all weekend. People are enjoying themselves and cooling down with an ice cream. There have been locals and tourists into the shop.”
Yesterday’s top recorded temperatures: