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Armagh hotter than Spain as NI’s record temperature broken for third time in a week  

Rest of Europe left in shade, but alert issued over water usage and sunburn

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Taking the plunge: Tristan Brennan, Gary Niblock and Jamie Craig take a dive off the rocks at Orlock, Co Down

Taking the plunge: Tristan Brennan, Gary Niblock and Jamie Craig take a dive off the rocks at Orlock, Co Down

People enjoy the sun and heat

People enjoy the sun and heat

Kerry Presha and Valdas Pliuskys enjoy the sun and heat at the Mall in Armagh

Kerry Presha and Valdas Pliuskys enjoy the sun and heat at the Mall in Armagh

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Taking the plunge: Tristan Brennan, Gary Niblock and Jamie Craig take a dive off the rocks at Orlock, Co Down

A triple-record breaking week of weather saw Armagh enjoy the hottest temperature ever recorded in Northern Ireland.

The Met Office provisionally confirmed yesterday that a sizzling 31.4°C was recorded in the Cathedral City at 3.20pm.

Castlederg literally enjoyed its day in the sun on Wednesday with 31.3°C, while the townland of Ballywatticock near Newtownards achieved its own claim to fame on Saturday with the first record of 31.2°C.

An amber warning for extreme heat in Northern Ireland currently remains in place until Friday night, while households have been urged to limit their water usage.

The Met Office has also urged the public to be aware of a risk of heat exhaustion and sunburn as well as other heat-related illnesses.

Armagh’s scorching Thursday meant it was briefly a hotter destination than many of the top tourist spots across Europe.

In France, temperatures reached 28°C in Paris with Marseilles at 29°C and Strasbourg reaching 26°C .

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People enjoy the sun and heat

People enjoy the sun and heat

People enjoy the sun and heat

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Murcia in Spain came close to Armagh at 31°C while Bilbao was far lower at 26°C and Los Palmas recording 24°C .

Looking to Italy, locals in Venice had temperatures of 28°C which was the same as Lisbon in Portugal. Elsewhere, Cardiff reached a sweltering 30°C while London was slightly lower at 29°C and Belfast also cooled down to a less punishing 26°C .

While Castlederg may have been dethroned from its brief moment of glory this week it can still claim a very different record.

BBC weatherman Barra Best reported that a record low temperature of -18.7°C was recorded in December 2010, a difference of 50°C. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth from the Met Office said it’s likely Armagh will keep its record breaking status this week.

“We’ve had a lot of sunny weather, with that strong sunshine and particularly warm air,” she said.

“That’s meant the temperatures have been able to creep up every day. When you don’t get much change in the conditions that means the temperatures just keep on increasing through the day, especially when you have the longer summer days.”

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Kerry Presha and Valdas Pliuskys enjoy the sun and heat at the Mall in Armagh

Kerry Presha and Valdas Pliuskys enjoy the sun and heat at the Mall in Armagh

Kerry Presha and Valdas Pliuskys enjoy the sun and heat at the Mall in Armagh

She added: “The other thing to note is that we’ve had particularly warm temperatures overnight as well across the whole of the UK.”

This weekend, Northern Ireland and Scotland are also expected to enjoy the warmest temperatures across the UK.

Ms Shuttleworth said it was likely that Thursday’s record is the peak. “On Friday we’re expecting around 29°C as the maximum in Northern Ireland, possibly 30°C.

“We’ll start seeing a little more breeze and cloud around, that means you don’t really feel the full force of the sun.”

There’s no need to put the barbeque away just yet however, with a respectable 26°C forecast on Saturday and Sunday.

“That’s still among the highest in the UK and above average for the time of year in Northern Ireland.”

On the extreme heat warning, she said that with climate change the Met Office expected these unusual warm spells to become more frequent and longer lasting.

Meanwhile, the Environment Minister Edwin Poots has called on the public to reduce water usage at home immediately to preserve supplies.

“We must do everything we can to help NI Water conserve and protect our drinking water supply. It is vital for life, and it is critical that we have a sufficient supply of good quality water to protect public health and the environment,” he said.

“It is critical to our agri-food sector in ensuring the continued production of high quality food and to help our economy in recovering from the impacts of Covid-19.”

He said that with more people holidaying at home this year, demand for water was actually outstripping supply in some areas.

“We need to ensure everyone has sufficient water for hygiene, hand washing and vital domestic needs.”

Minister Poots continued: “The protection of our waterways from pollution is critical to improving the quality of our lakes and rivers, which is the source of our drinking water in Northern Ireland.

“With continuing dry weather, the levels in the lakes and rivers is low and any pollution will have an increased impact. This will add to the pressures that the high demand is already placing on the environment and on Water Treatment Works that produce our drinking water.

“I am committed to working together across the departments to ensure NI Water has the support needed to provide a safe, clean drinking water supply to the people of Northern Ireland.”

As part of the efforts to preserve supplies, NI Water, the Departments for Infrastructure and Environment have been assessing the potential impact on drinking supply.

“The Department of Environment will continue to carry out pollution surveillance patrols alongside a 24/7 response to any incidents to protect the quality of raw water for treatment.


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