Northern Ireland sizzles in glorious summer sunshine with temperature soaring to 25C
It's getting hot, hot, hot.
Temperatures are rising and Northern Ireland is basking in long awaited summer sun.
Magilligan on the north west coast topped the charts at 25C (77F) and the mercury reached 24C in the seaside town of Portrush, while the rest of the province enjoyed slightly lower temperatures.
While yesterday was the warmest day of the year, the Met Office in Co Antrim says that there is still a way to go before it reaches record-breaking point. John Whylie said: "The maximum regional temperature record for Northern Ireland is 30.8C, so it's a long way off that and even from the maximum temperature for last year of 29C, which was recorded in the last week of July.
"But it's certainly the warmest day so far this year.
"There has been variable cloud amount over Northern Ireland and it has been mostly sunny over most places." He predicted similar temperatures for today, possibly edging up to 26C on the north coast with dry, warm sunshine, but with a chance of a summer shower later on in the day.
"The rain could be thundery, but not every area will see showers."
The weather expert advised that the weather will be slightly cooler for the Tall Ships Festival, which starts tomorrow, where an expected 500,000 people will visit over the weekend.
He added: "There may be some persistent rain overnight on Friday going into Saturday morning but it will still be warm weather."
Schools have just closed their doors, so many families took the opportunity to day-trip to beauty spots and coastal towns all over the region.
And as the temperature rises, so does the demand for ice cream and ice lollies, with shops and cafes doing a roaring trade.
The Morellis, the family behind the famous 100-year-old ice cream business, said that sunny weather can increase their sales by as much as 80%.
Arnaldo Morelli, who runs the family's ice cream factory in Coleraine, told the Belfast Telegraph that he supplies six Morelli family outlets as well as 120 other shops throughout the Republic and the UK.
"Once the weather heats up, the demand goes a bit mad and we are lucky that we have a lot in stock," he said.
"Vanilla and honey-bear still tend to be the most popular with the home customer, but we have also recently introduced frozen yoghurt as well."
Ellen Morelli, who runs the cafe and shop in Portrush, says that they were inundated with customers yesterday.
"We have been run off our feet today and expect to be so tomorrow and into the weekend," she said.
"But, sure, it could be raining next week, so we have to make hay when the sun shines.
"It's all families with young children, as all the schools are now off."
Sun-lovers took to social media to post about enjoying the weather.
BBC NI weatherman Barra Best tweeted about the new Lagan Weir bridge as it was officially opened in the glorious sunshine on the hottest day of the year - just in time for the Tall Ships Festival.