Sub-zero temperatures and snow storms across Northern Ireland are expected to make Christmas travel miserable for thousands.
While many people are still struggling to get home in time for Christmas Day, forecasters are predicting even more freezing weather — resulting in treacherous driving conditions and casting into doubt countless more flights at airports across the UK.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for much of northern England and the Midlands and while this has not been extended to Northern Ireland, temperatures were expected to drop below zero with the possibility of a white Christmas in parts of Northern Ireland looking likely.
Last night a spokeswoman from the Met Office said: “A widespread frost will develop this evening and overnight. Mist and freezing fog could also become widespread, leading to difficult driving conditions. Winds will remain light with a minimum temperature of minus six degrees.
“Christmas Eve will be cloudy at times across Down and Armagh with the chance of a little sleet or snow. Elsewhere, it will be much brighter or clearer, although freezing fog may be slow to clear and there will be a maximum temperature of four degrees.
“The wintry theme will continue through Christmas Day with sleet or snow developing through the afternoon and evening. Boxing Day and Sunday will be bright with occasional wintry showers.”
Tonight (Thursday night):
Northern Ireland and Scotland will be partly clear with patchy mist and fog and a widespread frost, although central and eastern Scotland may see may see a few wintry showers. England and Wales will be mostly cloudy with patchy rain, sleet and snow, the rain freezing in places, but with some clear breaks in the north and west. Turning icy.
Wales, western England and Northern Ireland will see early showers dying out, then mostly dry and bright for a time before showery rain, sleet and snow spreads east later. Elsewhere, mainly dry and bright with variable cloud and just the odd wintry shower. Staying cold. Central and eastern England will see early light rain, sleet and snow gradually clearing, then turning dry although staying rather cloudy.
UK Outlook (Saturday and Sunday):
On Saturday, Northern Ireland and southern and western parts of Britain will be generally bright with showers, these wintry in the north. Elsewhere, mainly dry with some sunshine, but also plenty of cloud or lingering mist and fog patches. Sunday will be rather cloudy with showers or longer spells of rain and snow, especially in the north and west, with the snow mainly for Scotland. The best of the bright weather will be in the south. Breezy.
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