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Weather: After sizzling week in Northern Ireland, the mercury is now set to plunge

By David Young

It's been a wonderful week for heat-worshippers as temperatures soared heaven-ward and a welcome splash of sunshine bathed Northern Ireland, putting a smile on the faces of people from Pettigo to Portmuck.

The mouthwatering aromas of the first barbecues of summer mingled with heady petrol fumes from superbikes at the North West 200, while crowds flocked to the balmy Balmoral Show for the authentic whiff of country life.

Today is the last day of Sun Awareness week and - right on schedule - it's time to put the buckets and spades away for a while as the weather takes a turn for the worse.

After a week of rising mercury across the UK, things are about to change radically.

The forecasters are now predicting that by early next week the blue skies will have been replaced by the traditional greys of an Ulster summer.

Frost is even forecast for some northern areas of England tomorrow morning, where temperatures are likely to be approximately 10C lower than they were last weekend.

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