Weather: Northern Ireland records new 'highest temperature' of 31.3C - as UK heatwave set to break up

21 July 2021, 15:40 | Updated: 21 July 2021, 19:09

Northern Ireland has again recorded what's thought to be its highest-ever temperature - but the UK heatwave is forecast to soon give way to heavy rain and thunder.

Castlederg in County Tyrone hit 31.3C (88.34F) on Wednesday afternoon, with the Met Office tweeting that the record had "provisionally" been broken.

It is just above the 31.2C (88.16F) confirmed in Ballywatticock on Saturday.

Thursday is set to be hot and sunny again, with amber warnings for extreme heat in Northern Ireland, parts of southern England, the Midlands and Wales.

But the high temperatures are set to fall in most places from Friday, and there is a yellow weather warning for rain this weekend.

The Met Office said the heatwave would break up into more unsettled weather.

"The yellow warning for rain covers central and southern parts of England and Wales and will be in force from early on Saturday to midnight on Sunday," said forecasters.

Heavy thundery showers are expected, especially on Sunday, when they could be "widespread and torrential in places".

Some parts could see up to 10cm (3.9in) of rain, and the Met Office said "lightning and hail are expected to be additional hazards".

While most people in the UK have been enjoying the sun, people in parts of Leicestershire had hail the size of golf balls on Tuesday.

One resident from near Market Harborough posted a video of the hailstones after they smashed through a conservatory roof.

With a few more days of hot and sunny weather expected, organisations such as the RNLI have been urging people to take care in the water and heed safety campaigns.

It comes after a number of people drowned in separate incidents around the country in recent days.

Looking further ahead, a mix of sunny spells and heavy showers is expected from the middle of next week into August, according to the Met Office.

But towards the middle of the month it should become more settled, with drier and warmer conditions forecast.