Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland heatwave could hit record high

Temperature is forecast to climb close to 30 degrees

Dhunja the elephant gets a cooling down at Belfast Zoo
Dhunja the elephant gets a cooling down at Belfast Zoo
Aisling McMahon sprays sun cream on Ruby the pig
A block of frozen fruit for the warty pigs

By Stewart Robson

Get ready to put your hat on and slap on the sun cream as Northern Ireland is set to bake in summer sunshine today with temperatures potentially reaching record levels.

Every county is expected to bask in the heat, with eastern and south-eastern areas expecting the best of the weather.

The province hit a record temperature of 30.8 degrees on June 30, 1976 in Co Fermanagh and July 12, 1983 in Belfast, and today's conditions could reach similar heights.

As the mercury began climbing yesterday, animals at Belfast Zoo were cooled down with water by staff, and even had some sun cream sprayed on them. Meanwhile, local businesses are preparing to cater for sun-worshippers from far and wide as the schools gear up for the summer holidays.

The Antrim coast has always been a popular spot when the sun shines.

In Islandmagee Ross Hawkins, the fourth-generation owner of The Rinkha ice cream shop, said he was delighted with the current heatwave.

His great-grandmother Henrietta created the famous recipe in 1921 before opening The Rinkha with her husband in 1937.

And 81 years on from that day, Ross said that business was still booming as the scorching weather drives people from across Northern Ireland to the parlour.

"We were glad to see the first bit of sunshine for sure," said Scott. "When the weather turns it has such a major impact on our business.

"We have to bring in extra staff and buy in extra ingredients."

Ice cream was also selling fast in Newcastle, Co Down, where temperatures reached the mid-twenties yesterday.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Today and Thursday we are likely to see temperatures at least approaching 30 degrees.

"If we don't reach the record it at least puts this heat into context."

Belfast Telegraph


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