Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland weather: Sweltering June set to follow sunniest May on record

By Staff Reporter

As the early summer heatwave looks set to continue for another week, crowds of sunseekers headed for the great outdoors.

The UK has just enjoyed its hottest, sunniest May since records began, with 245.3 hours of sunshine, according to the Met Office.

Northern Ireland's rainfall was just 80% of the average - and the good weather has continued into the start of June.

However, there is one blip on the horizon, with a severe weather warning in place for today.

Heavy, thundery showers are expected to move in from the west, bringing the potential for some localised flooding. But it should remain dry in eastern areas, and the maximum temperature is expected to be 22C.

It comes after parts of Northern Ireland were deluged on Friday and Saturday, with Meadowlane shopping centre in Magherafelt badly flooded.

Some parts of Belfast were hit by flash floods - while others remained completely dry.

But for the rest of the week the outlook is dry and settled, with plenty of sunshine expected - and temperatures exceeding 20C.

At Helen's Bay in Co Down, sunseekers were out in force yesterday, while all over the country people were coming together to take part in the 2018 Big Lunch, the UK's biggest annual get together for neighbours.

In 2017, 9.3 million people across the UK took to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join in for a few hours of community, friendship and fun.

Further south, in Co Down, green-fingered BBC broadcaster Stephen Nolan spent the day in his garden, tweeting pictures of the dozens of plants he had bought to beautify his plot.

It looked like warm work, as the mercury climbed into the mid-20s.

Last night the award-winning broadcaster - who'd been spotted earlier in the week buying plants at Homebase in Bangor - tweeted photos of the work in progress.

"Half the plants planted. Exhausting," he stated.

"And that was me just watching them being planted!

"More planting tomorrow night."

His legions of fans were quick to offer advice.

Juliette Langford posted: "It will look fabulous. Water well and remember the slug pellets."

Samuel Glover added: "Dip the roots in a bucket of water before you plant them big lad - ground is bone dry."

But Cookstown man Mark McIvor was a little sceptical that Nolan had actually done all the planting himself: "Pics of you doing it yourself big man or it didn't happen!"

Belfast Telegraph

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