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31.2C! N Ireland hits hottest temperature on record – as UK bakes in mini-heatwave

Written by on July 17, 2021

Northern Ireland has recorded what is thought to be its hottest temperature ever – with the mercury hitting 31.2C (88.1F) in County Down.

The temperature was recorded in Ballywatticock at 3.40pm, the Met Office says.

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

Crowds have hit beaches across the UK on what has been a scorching day, with temperatures heading towards 30C in England.

The mercury is expected to rise higher tomorrow, with the hottest day of the year forecast by the Met Office.

People enjoy the weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset. England could see the hottest day of the year this weekend as the skies finally clear after weeks of wet and humid weather. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.
Image: A cooling paddle was on the cards
A man jumps off an inflatable lilo off Bournemouth beach in Dorset. England could see the hottest day of the year this weekend as the skies finally clear after weeks of wet and humid weather. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.

England and south Wales could reach as high as 33C on Sunday, as hot air blows up from the Azores.

Today, Wales moved to COVID restriction level 1, meaning that rules on how many people can meet outdoors have been lifted.

More on Covid-19

A Sunbather lounges on a deck chair in Green Park, London. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.
Image: Those living away from the seaside could relax on loungers in London’s Green Park
Sunbathers lounge on deck chairs in Green Park, London. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.

However, only up to six people can meet inside homes or holiday accommodation.

Speaking from a sunny Rhyl beach in north Wales, Sky correspondent Sadiya Chowdhury said: “The beaches are not quite as packed as you might expect it to be. But it is quite filled out.

“There are groups I’ve seen of 10 or 12 people. Of course that’s perfectly allowed – as of today here in Wales because they’ve moved to COVID alert level one.”

Spectators during practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Towcester. Picture Date: Saturday July 17, 2021.
Image: People watching the F1 at Silverstone sought out the shade

She added: “The thing that isn’t changing is masks – they will still be required to be worn indoors and on public transport.

“All these easing of restrictions bring Wales more in line with Scotland and England.

“But that’s quite surprising because Wales actually has the lowest COVID rate out of the UK, 145 cases per 100,000.

“And it also has a very successful vaccination programme – roughly 75% of the adult population have been double jabbed.”

Sunbathers make the most of the mini heatwave in New Brighton, Wirral, on what could be the hottest day of the year. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.
Image: People took advantage of the barmy weather in New Brighton, Wirral
Sunbathers make the most of the mini heatwave in New Brighton, Wirral, on what could be the hottest day of the year. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.

The soaring temperatures are set to continue into Monday – England’s so-called “freedom day” from COVID restrictions.

Tom Morgan, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We have got quite an extended hot spell of weather to come through the next several days lasting much of this week, nighttime temperatures will be in the high teens Celsius and daytime temperatures will be in the high twenties or low thirties.

“It’s going to mean that people are really going to feel the effects of the heat as we go through this week.”

Sunseekers flocked to Britain's beaches, including Bournemouth beach in Dorset
Image: England will drop most COVID restrictions on Monday
A woman sunbathing on Bournemouth beach in Dorset. England could see the hottest day of the year this weekend as the skies finally clear after weeks of wet and humid weather. Picture date: Saturday July 17, 2021.
Image: A woman sunbathing on Bournemouth beach

And the RAC have warned that people should double check tyres, oil and coolant levels in the cars before heading to the beaches.

Public Health England has told people to stay hydrated, not to leave children or pets in cars, and apply sunscreen.


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