Belfast Telegraph

Northern Irleand basking in warmest Easter since records began

Temperatures reached 21C in Helen's Bay, Co Down, yesterday - beating a 95-year-old record (stock photo)
Temperatures reached 21C in Helen's Bay, Co Down, yesterday - beating a 95-year-old record (stock photo)

By Jill Richards

Northern Ireland enjoyed its warmest Easter Sunday on record, the Met Office said.

Temperatures reached 21C in Helen's Bay, Co Down, yesterday - beating a 95-year-old record.

The previous high (19.4C) had been set in Armagh in 1924.

Many headed to the beach to enjoy the warm weather.

Photographs showed queues of cars heading to Portrush.

Scotland and Wales also saw record Easter Sunday temperatures. It reached 23.4C at both Cardiff Bute Park and at Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden yesterday.

These beat the temperatures of 21.6C in Brynamman, Wales, in 1984, along with 20.7C in Aboyne, Scotland, in 2015.

The highest temperature of this bright, sunny and dry Easter Sunday in England was the 24.6C, which was reached Heathrow. This is still below the top Easter Sunday temperature from 2011 - 25.3C in the Solent.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: "We have got high pressure moving at the moment giving most of the UK a lot of fine weather. This, combined with the fact that the high pressure has dominated for the past few days, is allowing the temperatures to heat and build.

"It is allowing some record-breaking temperatures to be set today and potentially tomorrow as we are looking at a high of 25C or 26C."

He also suggested that the temperatures may also be helped by the fact that Easter has fallen a little later in the calendar this year.

He said: "The later in the year that Easter falls, the higher the sun is in the sky and the stronger it is."

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire's famous Ilkley Moor.

A helicopter was brought in yesterday to drop tonnes of water onto the smouldering moorland just to the south of the town in West Yorkshire.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze in sweltering conditions at its height on Saturday afternoon.

The dry, sunny and very warm temperatures have brought high risk of wildfires in Yorkshire and north-west England, and a moderate likelihood for Wales and south-west England, according to the Met Office.

It comes after Easter Saturday became the warmest day of the year so far when the temperature hit 25.5C in Gosport, Hampshire.

The UK's warmest Easter temperature was the 29.4C recorded at Camden Square in London on Easter Saturday in 1949.

The other warmest Easter weekend days include the 26.9C recorded at London's St James's Park on Good Friday in 2011 -when the mercury also reached 25.3C on Easter Sunday and 24C on Easter Monday, both in the Solent.

Mr Hall said that in "stark contrast" to the dry and sunny conditions in the UK, Spain and the Mediterranean are seeing showers and heavy downpours.

The good weather is set to continue here today.

According to forecasters, any early mist or fog will clear, with dry and sunny conditions.

The best of the weather will be in eastern areas.

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