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The hottest day ever in Northern Ireland – it’s official

Temperatures beat famous summer of 1976 scorcher

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Cooling off in Helen's Bay - (L-R) Jack Tyrrell from Bangor, Brad Stephenson from Newtownards Rory Mc Cullough from Belfast and Patrick Smyth from Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Cooling off in Helen's Bay - (L-R) Jack Tyrrell from Bangor, Brad Stephenson from Newtownards Rory Mc Cullough from Belfast and Patrick Smyth from Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Declan Roughan Press Eye

(L-R) Cahan Brolly from Dungiven, Emily Keane from Enniskillen, Rory McEvoy from Banbridge and Corshenna McCoy from Hilltown at Helen's Bay beach Photograph by Declan Roughan

(L-R) Cahan Brolly from Dungiven, Emily Keane from Enniskillen, Rory McEvoy from Banbridge and Corshenna McCoy from Hilltown at Helen's Bay beach Photograph by Declan Roughan

Declan Roughan Press Eye

The Met Office reported that Saturday (July 17) was the hottest ever recorded day ever in Northern Ireland with temperatures reaching 31.2 at Ballyeatticock in Co.Down

The Met Office reported that Saturday (July 17) was the hottest ever recorded day ever in Northern Ireland with temperatures reaching 31.2 at Ballyeatticock in Co.Down

People in Newcastle Co. Down enjoying the hot summer weather Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

People in Newcastle Co. Down enjoying the hot summer weather Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Sun lovers flocked to Helen's Bay beach

Sun lovers flocked to Helen's Bay beach

Country star Cliona Hagan posted a bikini clad selfie with the caption Hello Summer as she enjoyed the record temperatures this weekend

Country star Cliona Hagan posted a bikini clad selfie with the caption Hello Summer as she enjoyed the record temperatures this weekend

Marcello Beeloo, 32, from Belfast, celebrates her birthday with friends, at the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Marcello Beeloo, 32, from Belfast, celebrates her birthday with friends, at the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Paul Faith PA

Ella Henderson who topped the bill at Dalfest on Saturday

Ella Henderson who topped the bill at Dalfest on Saturday

People enjoying the Dalriada Festival

People enjoying the Dalriada Festival

Paul Faith PA

Rebecca Deans and Shauna McVeigh both aged 20, from Coleraine, celebrate the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Rebecca Deans and Shauna McVeigh both aged 20, from Coleraine, celebrate the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Paul Faith PA

Gareth and Sarah ( soon to become Murray) from Belfast celebrate their upcoming wedding next Friday at Belfast City Hall, at start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Gareth and Sarah ( soon to become Murray) from Belfast celebrate their upcoming wedding next Friday at Belfast City Hall, at start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Paul Faith PA

People enjoy the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle estate

People enjoy the start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle estate

People enjoying the sunshine at start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

People enjoying the sunshine at start of Dalfest at Glenarm Castle

Mark Hamer with his daughter Matilda aged 17 months in Botanic Gardens . . Photograph by Declan Roughan

Mark Hamer with his daughter Matilda aged 17 months in Botanic Gardens . . Photograph by Declan Roughan

Declan Roughan Press Eye

Peter, Sam and Rhea Marshall at Helen's Bay

Peter, Sam and Rhea Marshall at Helen's Bay

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Cooling off in Helen's Bay - (L-R) Jack Tyrrell from Bangor, Brad Stephenson from Newtownards Rory Mc Cullough from Belfast and Patrick Smyth from Belfast. Photograph by Declan Roughan

NORTHERN Ireland saw a new record high temperature today as the mercury soared to more than 31 degrees celcius.

Many areas saw figures in the mid to high 20s for most of the day as the province faced its hottest day of the year so far.

But the townland of Ballywatticock on the shores of Strangford Lough near Newtownards in Co Down set a new record with a temperature of 31.2C at 3.40pm.

The previous highest daily temperature for Northern Ireland was 30.8C first on June 30, 1976 at Knockarevan in Fermanagh during the heatwave which hit the UK and Ireland that year.

In a tweet the Met Office said: “Today is provisionally the hottest day ever recorded in Northern Ireland.

"Ballywatticock in County Down reached 31.2C at 15.40.

"Previously, 30.8C was the highest temperature recorded in Northern Ireland, reached on July 12, 1983 and June 30, 1976."

The forecaster also said yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far in all four UK nations.

England’s highest temperature was 30.7C at Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, while Usk, in Monmouthshire, Wales, reached 29C, and 28.2C was recorded in Threave, in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland.

The scorching temperatures coincided with just the second festival to return since the pandemic struck as music fans flocked to Dalriada festival at Glenarm Castle, near Ballymena, Co Antrim.

The return of the popular music and arts fest comes a week after the return of Stendhal Festival near Limavady, Co Londonderry, which saw thousands enjoying the return of pitching tents and pints in plastic cups.

Tonight’s Dalriada line-up includes chart-toppers Ella Henderson, Joel Corry and Clean Bandit while tomorrow night will see Pixie Lott, The Undertones and Ryan McMulland performing.

Today’s line-up was disrupted by Covid-19 after saxophonist and house music star Lovely Laura was forced to pull out after being adivised to self isolate despite negative tests.

In a statement on their Facebook page organisers said: “Although three subsequent tests came back negative which we hoped would allow Laura to perform, unfortunately Public Health have advised that she must isolate for 10 days.

“We're sad to not have Laura with us but can't wait for today’s stellar line-up.”

Among those enjoying the hot weather elsewhere this weekend was country music star Cliona Hagan who posted a bikini-clad selfie on Instagram with the caption: “Hello Summer! Whoever said we couldn’t reach 25 degrees here?!”

The current heatwave has already started to cause problems with NI Water warning residents to cut their water usage or risk being cut off.

In a statement issued on Friday the company said there had been an increase in night usage suggesting some are leaving sprinklers and hoses on overnight.

Des Nevin, director of customer operations, said: “If demand continues at this level it will lead to failures in our network and some customers will lose supply or suffer low pressure.

"A number of customers over the past few days are already experiencing this, especially those on high ground.

“Yesterday we put 695million litres of water into our distribution system, this is over 120m litres more than normal.”

“Please stop. A hose uses more water in one hour than the average family uses in a whole day.

"A pressure washer can also be a massive drain, so please think about whether the task is really essential at the moment.”


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