Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland hosepipe ban to stay in place despite rainfall

By Brett Campbell

Northern Ireland experienced its most significant rainfall in nearly a month on St Swithin's Day yesterday, but the hosepipe ban will remain in force as dry and warm conditions continue.

According to an old weather myth, if it rains on July 15, wet weather will persist for 40 days and 40 nights.

Despite the legend, the weather is expected to warm up again by the middle of the week.

More than 17mm of rain fell in the village of Portglenone within a 24-hour period over the weekend as a low front moved in.

However, daily water usage remains more than 60 million litres (11.3%) above what is normally required during the July holidays.

"Demand on our plants normally drops over the holiday period to around 530m litres a day, but over July 13 and 14 this year our plants were producing approximately 590m litres each day," NI Water said.

It marks a decline from the June peak, which resulted in the hosepipe ban being introduced in the first place.

However, the restriction will not be lifted as the trend of higher demand continues with another prolonged dry spell on the way.

"We believe this decline from 30% is, to a large degree, due to the introduction of the hosepipe ban and the public's response to it," NI Water added.

It confirmed the ban, which is subject to constant review, will remain in force for the forseeable future.

With only a few isolated showers forecast over the next few days, there is no end to the warm spell on the horizon.

Met Office forecaster Martin Bowles said that despite the "most significant rainfall which Northern Ireland has seen for some time", it will be too short-lived to make an impact.

"It's not going to be staying with us and it's not necessarily the end of the heat," he added.

He said only a few places will experience brief showers today and tomorrow, with the rest of the week set to be sunny and dry.

"Any showers will be very short and well spaced out; no significant rainfall is expected," said Mr Bowles.

"Although it will feel slightly fresher than it has been."

By Wednesday any risk of rain will have evaporated with blue skies expected everywhere and only minimal cloud scatter in places.

"There will be no risk of showers by the middle of the week and it looks set to stay like that," Mr Bowles added.

"Temperatures will be around 20 degrees, which is close to the seasonal average, but they could start pushing up again by the weekend."

Mr Bowles added that the remainder of the month was expected to stay dry and warm, but the weather expert was unable to indicate what August might have in store.

"There is no strong signal either way, so it's impossible to say what to expect at this point," he said.

England and Wales enjoyed a dry and sunny St Swithin's Day with temperatures soaring above 32C, but showers are set to sweep in this week.

Belfast Telegraph

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