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Sunny weather set to continue for days

By Adrian Rutherford

Pull out the sunglasses and fire up the barbecue – summer has arrived in Northern Ireland.

The new week is set to start as the old one ended, with blue skies, soaring temperatures and glorious sunshine.

Yesterday saw hundreds of sunseekers head to the beach to take advantage of the good weather, with thermometers pushing above 20C in some places.

And the early part of this week is set to be even better, with forecasters predicting temperatures could hit 24C. Andy Ratcliffe, a forecaster with Meteogroup weather agency, said it was well above the average for this time of year.

The highest temperatures yesterday were recorded at Murlough weather station in Co Down, which hit 20.7C at one stage.

That was slightly under the top UK-wide temperature of 22.4C.

Most people opted to take full advantage of the warm weather and, at Portstewart and Portrush, dozens of cars lined the North Coast's golden strands. And the good news is the sunshine is set to last well into this week.

"Temperatures are going to push up through the next few days," Mr Ratcliffe said. "On Monday we could be looking at highs of 21C or 22C, albeit it will be cooler along the North Coast.

"By Tuesday and moving towards Wednesday the temperatures will be around 23C, possibly touching 24C. After that the temperatures will fall gradually, but we are looking at some nice weather."

Mr Ratcliffe said June as a whole was generally slightly cooler.

"The temperatures are above what we would expect at this time of year," he added. "Belfast's average for June is around 17C to 18C."

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