Bring me sunshine - Ulster's sizzling
Dads waiting to see what their families have planned for Father’s Day this weekend have nothing to fear — it will probably involve a barbecue.
Similarly, those planning a mountaintop celebration of the summer solstice won’t be forced to garb themselves in un-pagan anoraks — the mild weather will permit them to cavort as nature intended should they so choose.
Temperatures are set to remain in the high teens as the balmy weather continues, meaning pleasant sunshine for families and torment for hay fever sufferers.
Forecasters predicted another balmy day today, with early mist and low cloud gradually burning off to bring a mostly dry, bright day with some sunny spells.
Billy Payne of forecaster Meteogroup warned there could be a few light showers, but temperatures will rise to 20C in places.
“Friday is drier with spells of sunshine and a more northerly wind. The temperature will be knocked down a couple of pegs to 18C or so,” he said.
“At the weekend temperatures are staying the same, around 17-18C, and the wind north or northwest — not too unsettled but not especially warm.”
It’s bad news for hay fever sufferers who can expect high grass pollen counts, although these could be lower in coastal areas. Showers will cause pollen counts to decrease wherever they occur.
The mild weather will be crucial to outdoor events such as Banbridge’s Buskfest, which is expected to draw hundreds of musicians and street performers, the Co Down Pipe Band Championships at Bangor and Kilbroney Vintage Show.
Two magnificent gardens off Belfast’s Malone Road will be throwing their gates open as part of the Ulster Gardens Scheme — 42 Cadogan Park and 11 Bladon Drive. Visit www.ulstergardensscheme.org.uk for full details.
Meanwhile the National Trust is running a host of events, including its Portmuck Picnic on Saturday, an Orchid Walk at Portstewart Strand, the Chapel Island walk across the sandflats of Strangford Lough, an archaeological tour of Divis and the Black Mountain and Father’s Day events at The Argory and Florencecourt.