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Thundersnow and blizzards to batter NI until weekend

By Claire O'Boyle

Northern Ireland's stormy weather is set to continue with plummeting temperatures, wintry showers and snow.

The region is unlikely to escape the 'thundersnow' and blizzards sweeping away the UK's mild weather.

Yellow warnings for wind and snow have been issued by the Met Office, with showers expected to bring 2cm-5cm of snow at lower levels and 10cm-20cm on ground above 200 metres.

The warnings affect Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of north-west England.

Met Office meteorologist Emma Sharples said: "We could get some blizzard-type conditions, especially at height."

Referring to the chances of 'thundersnow', where the rain associated with a thunderstorm falls as snow, she added: "It is possible, all that it really needs is for thunder to happen at the same time as the snow."

Northern Ireland was last night battered with windy weather, with gales of up to 70mph in the north-west that are set to carry on towards the weekend.

Today will see temperatures drop close to freezing. Most places will see snowy showers through the day and overnight, but brisk, westerly winds of up to 40mph will mean the snow will accumulate and lie further west.

As well as temperatures plunging overnight, winds will gather speed, reaching up to 50mph along the north and west coasts. Running into tomorrow, there will be more snow showers as well as sleet, snow and rain. Up to 4cm of snow could affect low-lying areas in the north and west, with up to 10cm on higher ground. Temperatures will peak at 4C, with an expected low of freezing.

Heading into Saturday, milder air will come in, steadying things towards the weekend.

A King Charles Spaniel plays at Shaws Bridge near the River Lagan in Belfast pacemaker

A satellite image shows the British Isles swathed in cloud as an Arctic blast is forecast to bring widespread snow and high winds

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