NI had normal rainfall - despite heatwave

By Barra Best
BBC News NI Weather Presenter

The Stockman's Lane underpass is floodedImage source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Traffic struggled through the Stockman's Lane underpass in Belfast during Saturday's flash floods

Despite weeks of practically no rain and the introduction of a hosepipe ban, Northern Ireland had 99% of its normal rainfall for July.

According to figures release by the Met Office, 80.6mm of rain was recorded - close to the monthly average.

Media caption,
'You can smell the sewage'

The weather station at Belfast International Airport recorded 99mm of rain in just a few hours that day.

Image source, David Brownlow
Image caption,
Castlerock beach glows in the heatwave

That is more than a month's worth of rain.

Up until midnight on Friday 28 July, Northern Ireland had recorded just 37.8mm of rain.

However, almost that entire amount again - 37.7mm - fell on Saturday.

The figures also show that it was warmer than normal by 1.7C with an average daily maximum temperature of 20.2C.

Image source, Gerard Murray
Image caption,
An Irish Air Corps helicopter attempts to douse a gorse fire in Slieve Gillion, County Armagh

That makes it Northern Ireland's eighth hottest July on record as gorse fires raged, farmers fretted over parched crops and over 200 people were treated in hospital for sunburn in the heatwave.

It was also much sunnier than it normally is in July with 178 hours of sunshine - that's 127% of the average.

Image source, Reg Haslett
Image caption,
Lovely weather for ducks - Glenarm, County Antrim, in July last year

Last year, Northern Ireland rejoiced in the title of UK's wettest July with 128mm of the wet stuff.

The Republic of Ireland's western counties recorded about 80% of normal rainfall, while the east was much drier at just 47%.