Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland weather: Cold snap looms after battering from 70mph gales

By Allan Preston

Gale force winds in Northern Ireland saw gusts reaching over 70mph in parts of the province yesterday.

A yellow warning for high winds was issued by the Met Office, with the Northern Ireland Weather & Flood Advisory Service warning the public of very rough sea conditions.

It advised people to avoid beach fronts due to risks of over topping waves.

By 3pm yesterday the highest recorded wind speed had reached 71mph in Magilligan Point, Limavady.

The Met Office predicted isolated gusts of up to 65mph and recorded that by noon wind speeds topped 49mph in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, with Portglenone and Aldergrove recording gusts of 47mph.

Despite fears the weather could knock power out in homes, Northern Ireland Electricity said they hadn't experienced any unusual cuts.

A spokeswoman from the Met Office said the gusts were "not uncommon in a winter depression coming in from the Atlantic".

She added she did not expect the turbulent windy weather to last, with largely dry weather for the rest of the week - but with falling temperatures.

"I think Northern Ireland will be on the drier side of things with the west of the UK generally being much dryer and brighter," she explained.

"It will take a little bit longer for the cold coming from the east to reach. Temperatures in the next couple of days are looking at about seven degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday, but by Friday and Saturday they're likely to drop to about four to five degrees.

She added: "It will be quite dry and breezy as we head into Friday, that's when the south easterly wind kicks in.

"There may be the odd flurry of snow towards the weekend but for the most part it will be dry with temperatures reaching freezing overnight at the end of the week with those clearer skies as well."

Elsewhere in the UK, the chance of February snow is higher this week with colder temperatures spreading from the east expected to cause some outbreaks of wintry showers.

Emma Sharples from the Met Office said that temperatures are likely to dip by at least two or three degrees by Thursday for much of England with some outbreaks of snow along the east coast.

"It's difficult at the moment to say exactly where we'll see those but it's definitely turning cold enough."

She added the colder weather will come as air from the freezing continent moves over the UK once the latest weather front from the Atlantic moves off.

"Once we get through this spell of rain today most places will be mostly dry, so that's a good thing," she said.

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