Belfast Telegraph

Saturday chilliest August night on record

By Linda Stewart

Northern Ireland shivered through its coldest August night on record as the mercury plummeted to -2C in Katesbridge, Co Down, on Saturday.

Forecasters had predicted lows of 2C and a possible grass frost as a north-westerly system continues to chill the British Isles – but temperatures dropped even lower than expected.

The UK record for August of 4.5C remains intact but the chilly night represents the setting of a new record for a low August temperature in the province.

Katesbridge frequently clocks up the lowest temperature in the UK.

MeteoGroup forecaster Gemma Plumb said: "Katesbridge is a cold place in general – there is a frost hollow there.

"There was high pressure on Saturday night and the skies were pretty clear so it allowed temperatures to drop low. It tends to be a cold place in Northern Ireland."

In 2011 Katesbridge recorded the UK's lowest temperature on 13 separate occasions, including 0.5C on June 29, close to midsummer.

Senior Met Office forecaster John Wylie told the Belfast Telegraph: "Katesbridge sits in the drumlin country of Co Down and cold air drains into the area that it's in – something that also happens in Castlederg. They are in spots which are very low-lying and the cold air sinks to the lowest point.

"It's the same thing that explains why your head can be warm and your feet cold at the same time.

"If there were a very cold winter you would almost expect to find extremely low temperatures in both those places."

MeteoGroup says temperatures will rise over the next few days, with day temperatures around 16C to 18C, dropping to between 8C and 13C overnight.

Today is expected to be breezy and cloudy with outbreaks of rain, while tomorrow is fairly dry with sunshine breaking through in the afternoon.

Wednesday could be dry but there are hints of unsettled weather returning on Thursday.

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