Published Thursday, 18 July 2013
Northern Ireland has been basking in a heatwave for over a week. (© Pacemaker)
Forecasters had previously expected that more clouds would move in and the hot weather could break, but it seems the current conditions will prevail for at least another five days.
Temperatures in the high 20s are expected right through the weekend and for much of next week.
Only then is there an increased chance of Northern Ireland actually getting those thunder storms that have been on the horizon.
But in the meantime, there will continue to be plenty of dry weather and strong sunshine.
On Thursday, the hottest spots are likely to be around Armagh and Enniskillen, while Cookstown and Strabane could see the highest temperatures on Friday - although overnight mist will burn off first.
On Saturday, clear skies are forecast with the highest temperatures in northern parts.
Meanwhile, a level three alert in London and southeast England has been extended across the southwest and the west midlands, where temperatures are pushing into the 30s.
It is just one step away from what the Met Office deems to be a national emergency.
The higher level four red alert has not yet been reached, but warns that "illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups".
Lower level alerts are in place in northern parts of England.
A new record high has been recorded for the UK, with the mercury reaching 32.2C at Hampton Water Works in southwest London on Wednesday.
Northern Ireland's record high remains Monday's 29.9C, registered in Edenfel in Co Tyrone.
Members of the public are urged to remember that the warm weather can cause health issues, such as heat exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn - as well as dangers like those associated with swimming in open waters to cool down.
On Friday past, police had to use one of their new quad bikes to rescue a woman suffering from severe heat exhaustion while walking in the Mourne Mountains.
The 23-year-old was walking along the Trassey track when she became unwell.
"Severe heat exhaustion can be very dangerous and the inhospitable terrain added to the difficult rescue," Sgt Richard Smith explained.
"Our new quad bike was just the thing and its flexibility over the rough ground enabled us to reach the distressed lady and administer first aid."
The woman was brought safely down the mountain by police and the Mourne Mountain Rescue team, before a waiting ambulance took her to hospital for a check-up.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness or cramps, pale skin and a high temperature.
If left untreated, it can develop into the more serious heatstroke - which health officials warn can damage the body or, in some cases, can even be fatal.
© UTV News
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