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Northern Ireland weather: May Day looms amid Arctic winds and snow

By Linda Stewart

Published 28/04/2016

As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 28th April 2016 As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
As a cold spell hits Northern Ireland snow falls on Moneyrea in Co. Down. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Lambs in the sunshine at Knocklayde mountain near Armoy yesterday
Just 20 miles away in Broughshane the lambs of farmer Thomas Gibson shiver in the snow
Snow in Ballymena
The white-capped peak of Errigal in Co Donegal

Parts of Northern Ireland woke up to an unseasonal cloak of snow yesterday as Arctic winds swept in, bringing plummeting night-time temperatures.

Stunned Twitter users posted images of snow-covered fields and videos of whirling snowflakes - even though the May bank holiday is only a few days away.

Forecasters warned gardeners to keep their tender plants sheltered until the weekend.

Roads Service warned drivers to exercise caution and said it was salting scheduled routes considered to be at risk of ice, frost and snow.

Yesterday morning saw snowfalls as far afield as Ballymena, Broughshane, Omagh, Strabane and Newry, while there were reports of hailstones in Newtownards and Belfast.

Sheep farmer Thomas Gibson posted a video of his sheep and lambs in the snow at Clonetrace Farm near Broughshane.

"It's more of an inconvenience as I am still lambing sheep at 900ft above sea level. I lamb these ewes later as the weather is usually kinder, but not this year. But nothing compares to the snow storm during March in 2013," he said.

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