Northern Ireland news

Another new weather record set in NI after thermometer hits 31.3C in Castlederg

Beaches on the north coast thronged with visitors yesterday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

ANOTHER new weather record was set in Northern Ireland yesterday after the thermometer hit 31.3C in Co Tyrone.

Just days after Ballywatticock, near Newtownards, made the history books by recording the highest temperature in the north at 31.2C the scorching heat was pipped.

The Met Office said the new provisional record was set in Castlederg, making it the hottest day since records began in 1910.

A tweet from the Met Office said: "Northern Ireland has for the second time in five days provisionally broken it's all-time temperature record.

"Castlederg in Co Tyrone recorded a temperature of 31.3C at 14.37 this afternoon.

"This exceeds the 31.2C that Ballywatticock recorded last Saturday."

Previously, the highest temperature of 30.8C (87.4F) was recorded on July 12 1983 and June 30 1976.

With beaches and beauty spots across the north packed once again yesterday with visitors basking in the glorious sunshine, an amber weather warning from the Met Office for extreme heat remained in place, with Met Éireann warnings in the Republic also.

The Met Office had said on Tuesday that temperatures could rise above 30C across the north for yesterday and into today.

The amber alert is in place until 11.59pm tomorrow night.

The Met Office warning came with an appeal to watch out for heat exhaustion and sunburn. It warned that over the next few days many people could be at risk of sunburn or heat exhaustion, including dehydration, nausea and fatigue.

Road surfaces have also begun to deteriorate in the heat.

The Department for Infrastructure has said soaring temperatures has forced them to use gritter vehicles to spread fine dust onto roads in order to prevent heat damage.

Roads minister Nicola Mallon said recent record temperatures has caused asphalt on badly affected roads to soften in the heatwave, with limited cooling at night leading to potential lasting surface damage.

As Stormont warned people to take precautions in the heat and also to preserve water, the transport minister urged motorists to consider if journeys were "necessary" before travelling as temperatures remain high, and said people should also be prepared for rail delays.

Speaking of the move to prevent road asphalt deteriorating, Ms Mallon said: "The department has been spreading fine dust and grit on the worst affected roads and will continue to do so as necessary.

"The situation is being monitored and road users should exercise due care and attention at all times."

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