Northern Ireland weather: Temperatures to hit balmy 16C by weekend
Northern Ireland could see temperatures rise to near record levels for February this weekend, according to the Met Office.
In contrast with last year, when Ireland and Britain were about to experience the onset of the Beast from the East, the outlook for the end of the month is warm and sunny, with the mercury expected to hit 15C or 16C here by Friday.
The predictions are well above the normal February temperatures of 6C or 7C. However, there's still a way to go before it reaches the monthly record, set in Bryansford, Co Down, on February 13, 1998.
On that day locals enjoyed a balmy 17.8C.
The warm spell is forecast to continue on Saturday, when temperatures here could hit 13C, and could last through to Sunday, when they may reach 12C.
Saturday could also see areas of Britain hit record highs of 18C, and most will see a lot of sunshine. February 1998 was the warmest since records began in the UK, when temperatures hit 19.7C, and the Met Office has said there is the "potential to get close" to those readings this weekend.
"There is an outside chance we could get close to that," a spokesman said.
In Scotland the balmy weather may also come close to beating the February record of 17.9C, as the forecast is for 16C on Saturday.
"Scotland could get into mid-teens, possibly a little bit higher, possibly the record could be broken," the Met Office said.