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Picture of the week: There's snow better fun for a dog

Snow may have caused travel disruption and school closures across Northern Ireland, but for Hector the hound, it meant fun times and frolics near his Belfast home.

The chirpy Spanish water dog spent Thursday morning chasing a ball in the winter wonderland at Divis Mountain car park, while thousands of commuters faced delays and road diversions on their way to work.

Hector's canine capers in the deep snow were captured by local photographer Charles McQuillan for Getty Images and the pictures were published worldwide as part of national and global weather coverage.

Charles had spent the morning up Divis Mountain and was just about to head home, when he spotted the frisky four-legged friend running after the ball.

"I'd been up Divis Mountain from 8am looking for some snowboarders and was packing up to go home when I saw Hector in the car park," he said. "He was with his owner, Emma Donnelly, and her grandfather, who were throwing a ball for him to chase.

"Hector was running around and rolling in the snow and, when he came up from a deep patch, his face and eyes were covered in it. I knew then it would make a good picture. He looked liked a cross between a teddy bear and an Ewok and was very cute."

Northern Ireland was one of many areas in the UK besieged by snow on Wednesday night, with freezing conditions affecting the road and rail networks.

More than 100 schools were closed, including 50 in Co Antrim, and a number of Translink Metro bus services were affected the following day due to snow.

The NI Ambulance Service also reported difficulties responding to some emergencies.

And while the rain brought a slight reprieve from the snow over the last few days, the Met Office has warned that there will be more severe weather to come over the weekend, with heavy snow showers expected from this afternoon and through Sunday.

"A very cold air mass will continue to spread southwards from Scotland and Northern Ireland across the remainder of the UK on Sunday accompanied by strong winds," a Met office spokesman said.

"Frequent showers are likely to form in this air mass, primarily affecting northern parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland."

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