Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland set for a white Christmas: Wrap up... there's snow on the way, according to the weather forecast

By Linda Stewart

Looks like you're going to need that Christmas jumper after all - snow is on the way.

But there's no need just yet to start planning igloo designs, especially if you live in lowland areas of Northern Ireland, as you may see no more than a spat of hail and sleet showers.

Forecasters say a series of cold fronts is sweeping southward into the UK over the next few days, bringing snow to northern hills tomorrow as a cold air mass pours in from Greenland.

That wintry shower is expected to last until Monday night, after which it will be replaced by unsettled rainy weather on Tuesday.

However, the colder conditions will return on Wednesday and Thursday, accompanied by gales in the north.

The Weather Channel UK says it may turn a little less cold from the west from the end of next week, but extended forecasts could be disrupted by the track of Super Typhoon Hagupit as it heads to the Philippines, causing knock-on effects on the northern jet stream over Europe and North America.

Forecaster Matt Martin from MeteoGroup says today is expected to be cloudy and dry in the morning and afternoon with a cold front approaching from the north west in the evening.

This front will bring heavy rain, which will clear south tomorrow morning.

"It will turn very cold behind with a north-westerly polar maritime air mass, bringing wintry showers which will fall as rain or sleet at low levels but there could be snow on the hills above about 300m," he said.

Tomorrow will see frost forming in sheltered areas, with brisk weather feeding more showers into the north coast. This will fall as rain on the north coast and wintry showers on the hills.

"Monday will see showers in the north east, on the Antrim Coast, but later in the day a clear ridge of high pressure moves in. Monday night will start cold before rain spreads in from the Atlantic on Tuesday afternoon," Mr Martin said.

"High pressure has dominated up until now, but the jet stream is going to strengthen coming out of North America round Newfoundland and it's going to drive an intense Icelandic low, which is going to dominate with a polar maritime air mass."

The Met Office predicts that today will be cloudy with some patchy outbreaks of rain, these becoming heavier and more persistent later, especially across the higher ground of western Tyrone and around the Sperrins.

Tomorrow and Monday will be bright with showers, turning increasingly wintry, and windy at times. The Met Office says the weather will turn wet and windy on Tuesday, clearing to blustery showers later.

6 tips to beat the frost

1. Draw your curtains at dusk and keep your doors closed to block out draughts.

2. Have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.

3. Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer). Wrap up warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside on cold days.

4. Keep as active in your home as possible.

5. If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, you should heat your home to at least 18C and make sure you wear enough clothes to stay warm. It’s a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night.

6 Double or even triple your normal stopping distance from the vehicle in front. Drive so that you do not rely on your brakes to be able to stop — on an icy surface they may not do that.

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