Hotter than Madrid as Northern Ireland temperature hits high of 21C
Sunglasses, shorts and suncream were dug out yesterday as thousands of people enjoyed the hot weather with the mercury in Northern Ireland hitting a high of 21C - hotter than Madrid.
And the signs are that the summer sun is set to continue today for the last bank holiday of May.
Although some short showers are predicted, the balmy weather is set to last until tomorrow, say forecasters. The sunshine comes after an unseasonably cold April with parts of the province even seeing snow.
The Met Office predicts cloudy weather is set to return on Wednesday with the temperature dropping to around 15 degrees.
But after a cloudy start today it is set to brighten up with warm, sunny spells developing, and despite a few showers the temperature could hit 20C.
Among those soaking up the sunshine yesterday were the crowds enjoying the sights and sounds of the Belfast Spring Continental Market in the grounds of the City Hall.
Ice cream, Dutch pancakes and German beers were tasted and supped.
Among those enjoying the stalls were Elizabeth Riley and daughter Rose from Holywood.
"It's nice to finally see some good weather, I just hope it isn't our summer!" Elizabeth joked.
Much of the UK will be pleasant today with sunny spells, and temperatures in most places will reach the high teens and low 20s.
But a band of rain, wind and thunder from continental Europe will hit England overnight tonight and into tomorrow. Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "The rain will be locally heavy at times as it comes in, particularly over the south eastern corner of the UK."
He said the downpours could result in surface water on the roads - potentially causing issues for drivers and commuters.
The bad weather will then push westwards, affecting mainly southern, central and eastern parts of the UK - with cooler temperatures along the coast.
"The best of the sunshine will actually be in western Scotland and Northern Ireland," added Mr Partridge.
"And by Friday most of the UK will be dry, with some decent sunny spells again."