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Weather alert: blast of wintry weather coming to Northern Ireland

The clocks have gone forward and British summer time has started but the big freeze is still clinging on with parts of Northern Ireland braced for another blast of wintry weather.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for some parts of the UK predicting snow falls of up to 30cm, sleet and heavy rain during the first half of this week.

Northern Ireland is likely to escape the worst of the weather but there is the likelihood of snow on higher ground tomorrow and on Wednesday.

This latest warning comes after the coldest winter in 30 years.

Julian Mayes, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association said: “It's turning very unsettled and we expect a two-day cold snap on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is going to give quite a surprise to many people after the recent mild weather.

“The current charts suggest it's going to be fairly shortlived in the south, with the worst of the cold winds and risk of snow being on the northern hills.”

Blizzard-like conditions have been predicted for parts of Scotland on Wednesday with heavy snow and high winds over hilly areas. Mr Mayes said it was not unusual for a wintry blast to hit the country during spring.

In its weekly forecast last night, Meteogroup said: “During the evening and overnight, rain will turn increasingly to sleet and snow in Northern Ireland, central and southern Scotland with some significant accumulations likely over higher ground in fresh winds. There could also be some snow over the high ground in northern England for a time. Northern Scotland will be clear and frosty. Elsewhere it will be mostly cloudy with showery outbreaks of rain and drizzle. Mild in the south, cold in the north.

“Tuesday will be a horrible day, cloudy, cold and windy with rain turning to snow over the hills.

“Scotland and Northern Ireland will see sleet and snow turning increasingly to sleet and rain at lower levels with snow confined to the higher ground. It will be a cold day here in fresh winds.

Northern and western England and west Wales will be mostly cloudy with rain and drizzle, often heavy in strong winds. Elsewhere, some sun with scattered heavy showers. Wednesday will see further sleet and snow in Scotland. Some sunshine in southern England with scattered showers. Elsewhere, plenty of cloud with showers or longer spells of rain.

The wintry weather is expected to ease by Thursday with spells of sunshine and winds from the north west instead of the icy northerly winds of recent months. Temperatures should be milder by Friday, with rain coming in from the south west, but unfortunately it looks like an unsettled picture over the Easter weekend.

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