Belfast Telegraph

Snow and sleet warning as Arctic blast in Northern Ireland set to continue, says Met Office

By Nevin Farrell

Rush-hour motorists will have to contend with a yellow warning for icy conditions as Northern Ireland continues to shiver its way through January.

For good measure mist and fog will be thrown into the mix in some places, forecasters have warned.

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A yellow warning for icy conditions overnight and into the morning was issued for all of Northern Ireland although the minimum temperature was expected to be just below freezing and not as bad as the minus seven seen in Katesbridge, Co Down, yesterday.

The Met Office said rain, sleet and snow were due to arrive into western parts of Northern Ireland during yesterday evening, then spread east across all parts overnight.

A spokesman said: "Rain and sleet is likely to fall onto frozen surfaces in places, leaving some icy roads, especially as clearer conditions return later in the night.

"In central and western parts, there is also a risk of localised snow accumulations of 1-2cm at low level and 5cm or so on higher ground. The public should be aware of the risk of difficult driving conditions and travel disruption.

"After a spell of cold weather across the area, an Atlantic frontal system will move in. As the rain band encounters cold air, it will fall onto frozen surfaces and locally turn to sleet and snow for a time across Northern Ireland before clearing later in the night.

"There is now more certainty that eastern parts, including the Belfast area, will see mostly rain or sleet rather than snow, and that icy roads will be the main hazard overnight."

The outlook for today from the Met Office was: "Misty start with some outbreaks of rain or sleet. Maximum temperature 4C."

The average daytime temperature in Northern Ireland at this time of year is six or seven degrees but yesterday in several areas, the temperature remained at zero or below for much of the day.

With the low temperatures in recent weeks, asthma sufferers here - one in 10 of the population - are more at risk.

Director of Asthma UK NI Joan O'Hagan said: "Three-quarters of people with asthma find that cold air makes their asthma worse, putting them at an increased risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack."

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