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Northern Ireland weather: Sizzling day we put Portugal in the shade

By Rebecca Black

Published 12/06/2015

Belfast girls Sophie McCormick (19) and Emma Bonner (21) catch a few rays at Helen’s Bay beach. The friends model for the Alison Campbell Modelling Agency
Belfast girls Sophie McCormick (19) and Emma Bonner (21) catch a few rays at Helen’s Bay beach. The friends model for the Alison Campbell Modelling Agency
Students from Portadown were having a splashing time at Portstewart beach. From left: Victoria Salt, Karen Beacom, Louise McCaw, Cathy Johnston, Fiona McShane and Alana Wilkinson
Belfast girls Sophie McCormick (19) and Emma Bonner (21) catch a few rays at Helen’s Bay beach. The friends model for the Alison Campbell Modelling Agency
Anna O’Brien enjoying the sunshine at Helen’s Bay
Goldie the dog enjoying the sunshine
Emma McDowell enjoying the sunshine at Helen’s Bay
Sunseekers in the grounds of Botanic Gardens in Belfast

It was fun in the sun yesterday as students and anyone lucky enough to be off work flocked to the beach to enjoy our hottest day of the year so far.

In Belfast the lawns of City Hall were transformed into a sea of sunbathing office workers at lunchtime.

Even busier were the city's many parks as well as beaches across the province where ice cream vans were doing a roaring trade.

Others were not as fortunate with some school pupils left looking at the sunny scenes out of the window as they sat GCSE and A-level exams.

Northern Ireland was so hot yesterday that it even rivalled holiday destinations such as Portugal.

The Co Tyrone town of Castlederg was the hottest of all, where the mercury hit 21 degrees - as high as the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

Even the elephants at Belfast Zoo needed a cool down, and were happily spraying mud and water over their flanks in the sunshine.

Today may not be quite as warm, according to the Met Office, but don't pack away the suncream yet.

Temperatures are expected to hit the high teens, although some cloud and a light breeze may make it feel cooler.

Things will cool a little further this weekend but it is expected to remain reasonably warm.

A Met Office spokesman said that tomorrow northeasterly breeze will develop bringing the temperature down to 14 degrees. He said Sunday will be similar, but as the day progresses the sun will come out and start to feel a little warmer.

Next week is less certain, he said.

The start of the week may be warm with temperatures in the high teens, he predicted, and there are hopes that Wednesday may reach as high as 20 degrees.

But the area of high pressure is expected to shift south from the end of the week, resulting in cooler weather.

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