Belfast Telegraph

From weather bomb to meteor showers: spectacular display of shooting stars and more snow for Northern Ireland

By Linda Stewart

Days after a weather bomb sent high winds and heavy showers sweeping across northern parts of the UK, Northern Ireland is facing more snow as forecasters warned of wintry showers even at low levels.

Temperatures were due to plunge as low as -4C overnight in the notorious frost hollow of Katesbridge, Co Down, while snow was expected to blanket much of the northern part of the province.

Forecasters MeteoGroup said a front of wintry showers would push south today followed by milder air and this morning would see a mixture of snow, rain and sleet.

The weather is expected to turn milder this evening as cold, patchy rain spreads from the Atlantic, followed by more patchy rain tomorrow morning, which is expected to clear east during the day.

Forecaster Matt Martin said: "There is an Icelandic low just to the east of Iceland which will push through that weather front on Sunday and behind that there is going to be a cool maritime air flow, and then strong winds on the north coast.

"On Monday there will still be a few wintry showers and then on Tuesday it is back to milder weather."

On Thursday, much of Northern Ireland was affected by snow showers, particularly higher land such as Gortin, Shane's Hill, Ballycastle and Slieve Binnian, which saw drifting snow. Temperatures fell to -3C in Killylane in Co Antrim.

If it's clear, tonight could be the perfect opportunity to watch the Geminid meteor shower as it reaches its peak.

Irish Astronomical Association spokesman Terry Moseley said the shooting stars can be seen from anywhere that the sky is clear and dark.

"You'll need to be well away from cities and towns to escape the light pollution, and you should look for a site with a good clear view all round, if possible," he said.

"The number of meteors will increase as the night progresses, but the Moon will rise about midnight, so the best time to observe will be from about 10pm until midnight.

"The Geminids are the highlight of the meteor observing year, with dependably high rates, and a good percentage of really bright meteors, or fireballs.

"It is also a good opportunity to observe the International Space Station, which is making a series of passes over Ireland in the early evenings. For example, there will be a nice pass on Saturday evening starting about 6.35pm."

So, are you all in a twitter after being weatherbombed, or left cold?

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