Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Snow, ice and rain sweep across Northern Ireland

By Michelle Smyth

It was the first day of spring yesterday - but it certainly didn't feel like it, and probably won't for a while.

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After a wet and windy weekend, the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for snow and ice until 10am this morning.

Drivers should be cautious this morning after heavy showers were expected to turn increasingly icy overnight.

Accumulations of up to 6cms of snow are expected in low-lying areas across Northern Ireland with as much as 10cm in areas above 400 metres.

Temperatures dipped and stayed below freezing last night and won't get much higher than 4C today.

Met Office forecaster Chris Page said the wintry weather is to continue until Wednesday.

Unfortunately, milder, more spring-like weather isn't expected until the middle of the month.

He said the conditions were being caused by a cold westerly flow coming in from Canada.

"We will see wintry, blustery and thundery weather for most of this week and pedestrians and motorists should take extra care," he said.

"This type of weather is nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year.

"The further west you get the worse the weather will be as it is coming in from the sea.

"The good news is, the snow that lies is likely to turn into a slushy mix and disappear quickly.

"As we get nearer to the weekend the weather will start to improve as milder air comes in from the south west. However, there will still be rain and gales on Thursday and Friday. Over the weekend weather will become more settled.

"We are expecting that this could be one of the last spells of snowfall."

Chris added that "once we get the cold spell out of the way, weather will become much more spring-like".

He added: "We can expect much milder conditions from mid-March as high pressure arrives in from the south.

"This will bring sunny spells during the day but nights will be chilly with a risk of fog and icy patches."

Meanwhile, a man has died after being swept into the sea during gale force winds.

The man, aged in his thirties, was walking with his dog and a friend when they were washed into the water yesterday evening in South Shore, Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said weather conditions were poor with rough seas, gale-force winds and a high tide.

Background

According to the Weather Channel, by Easter Sunday on April 5 temperatures in parts of the UK could reach as high as 21C in some places. The warmer temperatures are predicted due to a build up of higher pressure. May could also see us enjoying temperatures of up to 27C - further raising hopes of a hot, dry summer.

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