Belfast Telegraph

Enjoy Easter sunshine while you can... the rain is returning

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

The glorious warm weather that had us reaching for sunscreen at the weekend is set to continue today -- but make the most of it because the rain is on its way back.

It was a bit of a washout on Easter Sunday for large parts of Britain but Northern Ireland did not experience our usual world-famous wet weather.

The beaches were packed full of sun-worshippers and in our parks and green spaces, family fun and sports were also the order of the day.

Little kids and big kids alike cooled off in the sea and sales of ice cream and ice lollies went through the roof.

Ben, Megan and Jack Gray were among the free-spirited youngsters enjoying splashing about during the the warm weather in Helen's Bay yesterday afternoon.

Elsewhere, members of the public who were enjoying themselves at the Valley Leisure Centre took advantage of the shuttle bus ferrying people from its car park to Belfast Zoo on the Antrim Road.

Today will be another seriously sunny affair so set up the paddling pool in the garden for the little ones, throw some more steaks on the barbecue and crack open an ice cold beer.

Last night MeteoGroup forecaster Chris Burton told the Belfast Telegraph the top temperature in Northern Ireland yesterday was 16.8C recorded at Thomastown, Enniskillen.

"Tuesday will be a touch warmer, maybe up to 17C," he said.

"Western areas will be warmest. Most places will have temperatures in the mid-teens and there could be one or two showers."

Unfortunately the rain will feature more this week than last week, but perhaps gardeners will welcome their lawns and flowers getting a soaking after the recent dry and sunny conditions.

Chris Burton said: "The rest of the week is looking mixed with some heavy rain at times.

"Temperature-wise it will be fairly similar to the last few days. There will be a gradual cooling trend by the end of the week, around 12-15C by Friday.

"It is a little bit warmer than what you would expect at this time of year."

FACTFILE

Met Office: UK outlook for Friday, April 25 to Sunday, May 4

An unsettled end to next week with showers or longer spells of rain, heavy at times, although there will be some drier, brighter spells too, most likely in the northwest of the UK.

Generally windy with a risk of gales in the southwest. Chilly in the rain and along windward coasts, however it will feel warm where it remains bright.

The end of April is likely to remain changeable.

10 EXCITING THINGS TO DO

1. Eggstreme Egg Hunt and Bunny Cruise at Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea.

2. Walk the new 4.2-mile Divis Ridge Trail for stunning views over Belfast and beyond.

3. Easter Fun at Carrickfergus Castle. Children will get in free if they wear an Easter bonnet or bring a decorated Easter painting, collage or 3D object.

4. Visit Rathlin Island — our only inhabited, offshore island, known for its rich history and traditional culture, as well as its stunning scenery and diverse wildlife.

5. Take a fascinating free tour of Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

6. Head along to the Brian Boru Festival in Armagh for an exciting line-up of events including a warrior re-enactment and a Viking tented village.

7. Annual Duck Races in Maguiresbridge. These are held on the Colebrooke River which runs through the village. Start-time is 4pm. Cash prizes.

8. Take a McComb's Travel Game of Thrones Tour and see stunning locations around Northern Ireland where the series was filmed.

9. Bangor Easter Parade and Fun Day. The McKee Clock Arena will be playing host to The Lego Live Show, featuring eight of Ireland's best trials riders who will compete over a challenging course of giant colourful Lego pieces in this specially designed, brightly coloured arena show.

10. Celebrate Easter at Belfast Zoo with animal characters and an Easter egg trail as well as visiting your favourite animals at feeding time.

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