Belfast Telegraph

Heatwave makes Northern Ireland hotter than Rome or Nice

By David Young

Northern Ireland is hotter than the Med - and that's official!

As we sizzled in the spring sun, the mercury in thermometers hit a scorching 20 degrees in Armagh at the weekend - hotter than Barcelona (17), Nice (19) and Rome (19).

And as sun lovers hit the beaches in their thousands - just as they also did around this time last year - the high temperatures also brought out the celebrities.

Belfast-born television presenter Eamonn Holmes picked a good weekend for a visit home, and tweeted pictures of a scenic cycle path that skirts the north shore of Belfast Lough.

"Walking Whiteabbey Way," the broadcaster tweeted to his almost 1m followers, along with a summery image of the lough shore beach near Hazelbank.

"We're not Northern Ireland ... we're Brazil today," he joked.

BBC NI weather presenter Angie Phillips was quick to get in on the act.

"Bloomin gorgeous Eamonn! Enjoy!" she quipped in response.

The former UTV anchorman also praised his home city of Belfast as it sweltered in the heat.

"Belfast looking Beaut in The Sunshine today," he tweeted.

"Been out, had my breakfast, got the groceries ... All well with the World.

"Belfast is Buzzin."

And the sunny weather is set to continue until at least Thursday, forecasters say, with fine dry days, though the night will feel a little chilly, with temperatures low enough to open up a potential for frost in sheltered valley areas.

Meanwhile in England, there were fears of drought conditions this summer due to a serious lack of rainfall.

Seathwaite in the Lake District of Cumbria is normally the wettest place in Britain, receiving between two and three metres of rainfall per year.

But the bed of the river Derwent, which flows though the scenic area, has already dried up through lack of rainfall over the winter.

The news follows reports that in 2017 the UK experienced the driest winter for more than 20 years - leaving many rivers and reservoirs across the country with water levels which are already dangerously low, even before the summer begins.

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