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Time for fine summer weather? It's just a washout in Northern Ireland

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 27/07/2015

A woman walks her dog in the rain near Shaws Bridge in Belfast yesterday
A woman walks her dog in the rain near Shaws Bridge in Belfast yesterday
A woman battles the rain in London
James Lundy is well protected as he cycles at Shaws Bridge in the rain
People shelter under umbrellas

It may be mid-summer - but keep the umbrella handy.

After an unseasonally wet end to the week, Northern Ireland is facing yet more inclement weather.

Forecasters are predicting several more unsettled days, with temperatures dipping below the 18C average for this time of year.

Yesterday Northern Ireland -along with most of Britain - was lashed as wet weather swept in from the Atlantic.

Along with Devon and Cornwall, and north and south Wales, we saw some of the heaviest downpours.

Many areas received up to an inch of rain.

And there is little sign of a dramatic improvement over the next 48 hours at least.

More heavy rain is forecast today, with showers also predicted for tomorrow.

While the weather is forecast to improve on Wednesday and Thursday, there is still a risk of scattered showers.

Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with the MeteoGroup weather agency, said: "Monday will see long spells of rain.

"It will stay quite cool and fairly breezy - you're probably looking at a high of about 16C.

"On Tuesday it is much of the same - some rain or showers - although it might start to improve late in the day.

"Wednesday may be a little better but temperatures will remain around 16C and there will be a few scattered showers.

"By Thursday we should see one or two showers around, but with some spells of sunshine."

According to Mr Harvey, the average temperature for this time of year is 18C.

Yesterday's downpours saw the annual pilgrimage on Ireland's holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, cancelled for safety reasons.

Up to 30,000 pilgrims traditionally climb the Co Mayo peak on the last Sunday in July, known as "Reek Sunday".

But the event was called off due to heavy rain and strong winds.

Despite the safety warnings, hundreds of people decided to proceed with the climb. Seasoned climbers said the weather had never been as bad as this year.

Meanwhile, bookmaker Coral said it has cut the odds on July being the wettest on record to 2-1 from 6-1 following reports that more rain is forecast for the rest of the month.

The firm has taken a flurry of bets on this July breaking any previous figure, while also seeing support for 2015 being the wettest year on record, which is now available at 5-2 (from 4-1).

"We've seen money come flooding in all week for July being the wettest on record as punters have obviously been keeping a close eye on weather forecasts which all suggest we are set for more rain at the back end of the month," said Coral's John Hill.

"At the start of this summer, we saw a lot of money for this year being the hottest since history books began. However, all the bets coming in now are for 2015 being the wettest on record," he added.

Ladbrokes said it had suspended all bets on July 2015 entering the wet weather record books.

5 great (indoor) things to do this week

  • Summer Theatre Portrush (Wednesday to Saturday): Live comedy theatre suitable for all the family continues at Portrush Town Hall, with a nightly performance at 8pm.
  • Armagh Planetarium: Science can be both educational and fun at the Armagh Planetarium. You'll learn about our solar system and the amazing objects that exist in the cosmos.
  • Riverwatch Aquariums, Derry: See some wonderful creatures in the many different displays. Starfish, lobster, crabs, eels and rays are all on show.
  • Dundonald International Ice Bowl: Get your skates on at the ice rink, or try the 30-lane bowling alley which is great for family competitions.
  • If all else fails, give the seaside a miss and head to Barry's, Portrush. The amusement arcade is a great place for all the family.

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