Northern Ireland braced for strong winds and snow
Northern Ireland is bracing itself as it prepares to be battered with gale-force winds and potential snow.
Temperatures are expected to drop on Wednesday evening as heavy showers will turn to sleet and snow.
A yellow weather warning for wind and snow is in place from Wednesday until Friday afternoon.
Winds are expected to reach gale-force starting in the North Coast.
Tricky driving conditions are expected as the strong winds and wintry weather sweep across the country.
On Thursday it is expected to be brighter with sunny intervals and scattered wintry showers forecast.
However the Met Office predicts it will feel bitterly cold with the maximum temperature reaching 5 degrees.
From Friday to Sunday wintry showers are expected to continue along with the wind.
Showers will turn to sleet on Saturday and it will still be breezy.
Winds are expected to ease on Sunday but it will remain cloudy with the chance of rain later on.
Earlier the already strong overnight winds had caused trees to fall in Broughshane and Ballymena in Co Antrim.
Meanwhile Translink has put in place a number of contingency measures ahead of the wintry weather forecast.
Translink’s Communications Manager Lynda Shannon said: “In addition to our normal winter preparations, we also have contingency measures in place in case of snow, to keep our customers moving across Northern Ireland.
“We have stockpiles of salt to tackle ice and snow on our platforms and bus waiting areas; and we have crews on standby to remove debris from railway lines.
“We also liaise with Transport NI in the event of road closures or diversions”.
Passengers can keep up to date with the latest travel news on the Translink website and app, via Twitter @Translink_NI or through the contact centre on 028 90 66 66 30.
Yellow weather warnings for wind and snow across much of Scotland and the north of England have been issued by the Met Office for all of Wednesday.
Several centimetres of snow could settle on higher ground in parts of Scotland, while lower areas will receive a dusting.
Forecaster Craig Snell said the snowfall could lead to "dangerous conditions on the roads" and the strong winds could force bridge closures and cause lorry buffeting.
He said the winds would drop off during the afternoon but pick up again by Wednesday evening, leading to a combination of wind and snow.
The mix could bring "blizzard-like conditions across parts of Scotland" leading to "some very tricky driving conditions".
There is also a chance of thunder and lightning, which could disrupt the power supply and bring so-called "thundersnow".
Mr Snell added that it would be "a very unsettled and cold day across the northern half of the country".
Temperatures may drop to minus 5C (23F) in parts of Scotland, but freezing conditions are possible elsewhere in England.
The forecaster said people would "notice the chill" when they headed home after work.
By Thursday, the stream of cold air will spread further south, bringing hazardous conditions to much of the UK.
The Met Office's snow warning extends to parts of north-west England on Thursday - with a risk of wintry weather in southern England, while strong winds and wintry showers will continue to affect Scotland.
Around 2cm of snow is possible in low-lying areas, while 10cm could fall on high ground.
Mr Snell said the next few days would be "distinctly colder", with bitter weather across all parts of the country by Thursday.
He added that it would remain "windy and cold on Friday, with potentially some large waves and coastal flooding going down the eastern side of the country".
Rod Dennis, of the RAC, said drivers should be prepared for "tricky driving conditions and significantly extended journey times".
He urged motorist s to plan their trips carefully and "consider rearranging any non-essential journeys in the parts of the country most likely to be affected by the bad weather", as well as checking tyre tread and pressure, windscreen wipers and screenwash levels.