Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland basks in glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures

By David Whelan

Soaring temperatures that saw Northern Ireland enjoy the hottest day of the year so far are expected to continue today – but don't get your hopes up for the weekend, the Met Office has warned.

Parts of Co Fermanagh sweltered in highs of close to 25C, while most of Northern Ireland hit a peak of around 23C.

Helen's Bay, Co Down, was amongst the warmest coastal spots, with Killowen on Carlingford Lough also enjoying some of the highest temperatures.

Those highs are expected to continue today, but from Thursday and into the weekend temperatures are expected to fall by around 4C-5C into more average territory of around 17C.

Despite the cooler air, a spokesman for the Met Office said that between tomorrow and Saturday it would still be mainly dry and bright with sunny intervals.

"It will feel fresher, although still be quite warm in the sunshine," he said.

Hundreds of people flocked to enjoy the sunshine at Belfast City Hall, and public parks were packed as people took advantage of exam season and lunch breaks to catch a few rays.

In Co Antrim, riders cooled their horses down with a wade in the sea at White Rocks beach, while at Ballycastle marina boat owners used the opportunity to weigh anchor and enjoy the open sea.

Like many mums, Aisling McCaffrey picked her son up from school and headed to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast for a few hours.

It has gardens to explore, grass to picnic on and a well-equipped play area for kids.

"It's great – usually to come to the park we have to wrap ourselves up and we are lucky if it doesn't rain," she said.

"In this weather everyone has a smile on their face.

"I think only our tummy rumbles will drag us away."

It wasn't all spades and buckets, though – parts of the north coast were smothered in fog. Golfers at the Amateur Championship being held at Royal Portrush and Portstewart were left disappointed after play was suspended for a spell yesterday due to poor visibility.

Elsewhere, high temperatures boosted turnout at day one of Royal Ascot, where Belfast broadcaster Eamonn Holmes was seen rubbing shoulders with the royal family.

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