Sizzling September: Last burst of summer as temperatures match the Med
Northern Ireland is set to enjoy a last burst of summer sunshine this weekend with temperatures rivalling some of the Mediterranean's favourite hotspots.
Following a recent spell of heavy rain and a dip in temperatures, the sun made a reappearance this week and the warm weather is set to continue over the next few days.
Yesterday, Northern Ireland basked in temperatures in the low 20s and according to weather experts, was the warmest region in the UK.
The highest temperature was recorded in Castlederg in Co Tyrone, where it peaked around 22C.
In Belfast temperatures reached 21C, with office workers and shoppers making the most of the Indian summer.
Across the continent, temperatures were similar in some of the best-known holiday hotspots.
Sorrento in southern Italy recorded temperatures of 22C, Dubrovnik in Croatia reached 23C and Nice in the south of France was only marginally higher at 24C.
A spokesman for PA's weather forecasting service MeteoGroup said Northern Ireland was benefiting from a burst of high pressure and would continue to bask in sunshine over the coming few days.
"Sunshine was pretty widespread over the whole of the British Isles, because of high pressure that's still hanging around, but Northern Ireland probably fared the best," he said. "The weather was warmer the further west you went, so temperatures in parts of Northern Ireland reached 22 or 23 degrees.
"It's not unusual for it to be this warm at this time of year. We're not too early into autumn yet and the sun still has some strength.
"When it does make an appearance it tends to be pleasantly warm.
"Some of the highest temperatures recorded in the British Isles today have been in Northern Ireland and although it's hard to forecast cloud cover, it looks like the sunshine will last well into the weekend."
Earlier in the week temperatures reached 20.5C in Helen's Bay in Co Down and 21C at Magilligan in Co Londonderry.
The spokesman said: "Temperatures will continue to be in the low 20s over the next few days, although there might be a bit of mist to begin with.
"However, the rain will stay away over the weekend so everyone should make the most of the next couple of days, while the good weather lasts."