Get set for Saturday scorcher – but will it break records?

Northern Ireland just keeps getting hotter – with Saturday bringing the possibility of setting a new record.

Hundreds of cars full of holidaymakers flocked to Portstewart to enjoy the sun on Friday
Hundreds of cars full of holidaymakers flocked to Portstewart to enjoy the sun on Friday

Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far, with a top temperature of 25.7C, recorded at 4.15pm at Castlederg.

But this was immediately eclipsed by a reading of 27.6C on Friday, at Killowen in Co Down, at 12.13pm.

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Friday’s second warmest temperature was at Helen’s Bay, Co Down, when the mercury rose to 27.2C at 3.05pm.

And according to forecaster Simon Partridge of the Met Office, Saturday “could see 28C on the cards” for some parts of the Province – particularly in central and eastern areas.

“There’s the potential you might get a record,” he added.

“A small chance.”

The overall all-time record temperature for the Province is 30.8C – and this has been reached twice.

The first time was June 30 in 1976, and the second on July 12 in 1983.

Northern Ireland was so scorching yesterday, that it was a mere fraction away from being the hottest place in the UK.

But Coton-in-the-Elms in Derbyshire just clinched that title, with 27.8C.

Northern Ireland would have a long way to go before it rivals the UK’s overall hottest day.

That crown is held by Cambridge on July 24 in 2017, when temperatures hit a record 38.7C.

Mr Partridge said that Sunday will bring some cloud and slightly cooler temperatures, but that by Tuesday the temperatures will be bounding back up again, with blue skies pushing thermometers up to the 27C–mark again.

But this Mediterranean holiday weather comes with a couple of warnings.

NI Water stressed that it wants to “warn any adventurous walkers who plan a trip to the countryside and all those planning to walk in the Mournes this weekend, to be very wary of wildfire risk”.

Much of NI drinking water is in valleys and reservoirs surrounded by low scrub, and fires “remove the primary layer of vegetation, leaving burned bare soil exposed to erosion which then makes its way into the reservoirs, from where water is abstracted for treatment to be drinking water”.

It also said current demand for water “is outstripping supply”.

“If demand continues at this level it will lead to failures in our network and some customers will lose supply or suffer low pressure,” it said.

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

It urged people not to leave hoses and sprinklers on overnight, and asked that people “please avoid using swimming or paddling pools this weekend – filling a 12ft swimming pool uses the same amount of water 500 people use for daily handwashing”.

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