It might be nearing the end of June but you would be forgiven for thinking we are in the grip of winter.
For those who have been brave enough to venture outside in recent days, the start of our summer has pretty much been a washout — with torrential rain and strong winds the order of the day.
Racegoers to Down Royal and Royal Ascot have been hit by the deluge of rain while the Isle of Wight Festival was flooded. The cricket match at Stormont between Australia and Ireland today is also threatened by the weather.
Motorists have also been caught up in the unseasonable downpours with flooding reported across Northern Ireland. And according to forecasters, it’s not time to pack away the winter woolies and umbrellas just yet.
Dan Williams, a spokesman at the Met Office, last night said: “We are probably going to get some sunny weather and rainy weather over the next few months but then that is why we have the lovely green countryside.”
He continued: “There has been some pretty strong low pressure centred over northern England, Scotland and the north east of Northern Ireland which has brought with it rain and the blustery conditions we have seen over the past few days. Unfortunately, it is likely to remain for much of the weekend as well.
“Saturday should start with some slightly drier conditions although there will be showers, particularly around the coast. We have had blustery gusts up to 30mph and those conditions will remain over the weekend.
“Temperatures on Saturday should be about 15 degrees, which is slightly below normal for this time of year, and it should be slightly warmer at 17 degrees on Sunday. The rain will ease on Sunday although there will still be showers around.
“Monday looks like a drier day and there will be some sunny spells on Tuesday and Wednesday. It looks like it is going to be a much more settled start to next week than we have seen recently.”
Sewers and drains have been tested to the limit over the past 48 hours and last night NI Water said it had responded to a number of out-of-sewer flooding incidents. A spokesman said all incidents so far were localised flooding.
“Up until 3pm, NI Water had received 63 reports of blocked sewers, 48 reports of external flooding and five internal flooding which are being responded to by staff and contractors,” he said.
Motorists have also been affected by flooding and the Sydenham bypass was reduced to one lane yesterday as a result.
Anyone affected by flooding should contact Floodline on 0300 2000 100 and anyone affected by out-of-sewer flooding should contact NI Water on 08457 44 00 88.
FIVE THINGS TO DO IN THE RAIN:
Visit Benone in Co Londonderry — no better way to blow away the cobwebs!
Visit the Ulster Museum for the exhibition of drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Head to St George’s Market, open 9am-3pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.
Treat yourself to afternoon tea at one of Northern Ireland’s premiere hotels.
Visit Enniskillen Castle Museum and immerse yourself in a guided tour.