Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Northern Ireland has first white Christmas in five years

A young family enjoying a winter wonderland in County Antrim
A young family enjoying a winter wonderland in County Antrim
A family walking through a forest in the mountains overlooking Belfast in County Antrim
A forest in the mountains overlooking Belfast in County Antrim
The snow covered coastal village of Glenarm in Co Antrim
Passengers wait for flights
Livestock battle with the snow and freezing fog in County Antrim
Delays and cancellations of flights due to the snow in parts of England has left passengers not knowing if they were able to return home for Christmas. Above: Harry and Eleanor Davies
Delays and cancellations of flights due to the snow in parts of England has left passengers not knowing if they were able to return home for Christmas. Above: Paul and Paula Miller
Passengers at Belfast International Airport unsure if they are able to return home for Christmas
Sian and Tabitha Mathusamy
People enjoy the snowy weather conditions in Glasgow on December 22, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland
Darragh Crowley (12) from the Waterside in Derry plays in the snow in St.Columb's Park
A child attempts to get his plough moving near Aldergrove, County Antrim
The snow caused chaos for some, but was a chance to have fun for others
A couple walk through heavy snow in Cheethams Park, Stalybridge, Cheshire
The cold snap has left motorists facing treacherous conditions across Northern Ireland
Shannon and Joshua Willoc play in the snow in St. Columb's Park, Derry
Darragh Crowley (12) from the Waterside in Derry plays in the snow in St.Columb's Park
Mark McFetridge enjoys the snow outside his Coleraine home
Lyndsey McBride walks her dog ' Heidi' at Stormont
10 years-ol Pablo O'Connor bounding along in his sleigh on the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
Nisha Stevenson and Sophia Thomasius sleighing in the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
Nisha Stevenson and her mum Anne McAteer sleighing in the snow at Brooke Park, Derry
A train travels through the snow near Ingatestone, Essex after a night's heavy snowfall
A horse in a field next to the River Chelmer in Essex, after heavy snow
Snow starts to fall over St Paul's Cathedral in central London last night
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
Snow on the Antrim Hills in Co Antrim
Up to 10 centimetres of snow has fallen in some parts of Northern Ireland causing disruption to flights and forcing the closure of some schools February 2009
Snow on the Antrim Hills February 2009
Snow brings Northern Ireland to a stand still. Left to right. Ciaran McMullan(6), Fiona Lenghan and Matthew O'Rourke from Carryduff pictured outside their houses playing in the snow. February 2009
Snow makes it hard for drivers near Hannastown February 2009
Heavy snow blankets Marden's Hill in East Sussex
Britain is braced for more freezing temperatures and snow
Clearing the snow, Belfast city centre, 6/2/1963 To purchase this photograph as large format canvas or acrylic visit Belfast Telegraph page on www.niphotocanvas.co.uk
Walking in the snow, Massereene Park, Antrim, 8/12/1966 To purchase this photograph as large format canvas or acrylic visit Belfast Telegraph page on www.niphotocanvas.co.uk
Workers clear snow from the Gotthard across in the Swiss Alps, Monday May 18, 2009, where the highest point is 2,108 meters above sea level. The pass will be reopened on May 27, 2009, after an estimated seven weeks of cleaning works and around 220,000 tons of removed snow, according to the removal team leader. The pass connects the German-speaking part of Switzerland with the Italian-speaking region of the country.(AP Photo/Keystone, Urs Flueeler)
Boris the Barbary lion at Belfast zoo. Submitted by Lisa Shilliday. 05/02/09
Pupils from Methodist College Belfast battle their way through the snow on the way to class
Caption: Press Eye Ltd - Northern Ireland - 5th February 2009 ..Pupils from Methodist College Mark Walker and Michael Rogers snow ball our photographer in University Road.....Mandatory Credit -Photo by Stephen Hamilton Presseye.com.
With no worries about outlook of further snow three-year old Kenneth Moore, Greenacres, Ballyutoag, Ligoniel, admires his giant snowman in the garden of his home. 21/1/1965
A U.T.A. bus which was abandoned in deep snow-drifts on the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
These cars found the Belfast-Aldergrove road very tricky as they manoeuvred slowly along on the hard packed snow. 16/2/1966
Snow plough trying to clear the drifts blocking the main Larne-Ballymena road at Shane's Hill. 30/11/1965
Allister Cosby (left) and Julian Parker, both aged nine, of Downview Park, West Belfast, were out early enjoying the snow. 3/12/1966
An army of workmen went out early clearing the snow in Belfast's city centre, before the first of the office workers arrived. 6/2/1963
Cold comfort -- snow may look pretty but it has us shivering in our boots
Heavy Snow on the Glenshane Pass on Tuesday 28th Oct 08. Photo by Conor McDonald, Maghera

The prayers of thousands of men, women and children were answered yesterday as Northern Ireland had its first white Christmas in five years.

Up to five cm of snow fell in low-lying areas and approximately 10cm fell on higher ground as people throughout the province celebrated the Christmas snowfall.

But not everyone welcomed the weather and the Met Office issued a severe weather warning urging motorists to drive carefully on some roads, particularly in the west.

Severe ice and rain made driving hazardous throughout the day, particularly on side roads, and Stephen Smith from the Roads Service said the fact the roads were quiet would add to the danger. “Usually the roads get cleared quite quickly because so many people are using them,” he said.

“But it being Christmas Day, there is a build-up of snow and slush in most places, particularly B roads, and this is making driving conditions treacherous.”

Bookmakers were also hit hard by the snowfall and expected to pay out thousands of pounds to punters who had bet on Christmas 2009 being a white one.

To qualify for a white Christmas, 1mm of snow must be recorded as falling between 00:00 and 23:59 on December 25 at the official weather station at Belfast International Airport.

Bookmakers slashed the odds on a white Christmas in Belfast earlier in the week, with Boylesports and Betfred offering 3/1. Paddy Power slashed their odds to 11/4 and a spokeswoman said they had seen the largest number of bets for a white Christmas this year than any other in the last five.

She said: “As soon as people start to feel the nip in the air they automatically think of snow and think it is going to be a safe bet. It was a very welcome surprise for many this year.”

More wintry showers are expected throughout today (Saturday) with temperatures dropping to minus seven in some parts.

Weather update

Tonight (Saturday night):

Wintry showers continuing into the evening across much of Northern Ireland, although these will die out after midnight to leave it dry with clear spells. Southern, central and eastern parts of Scotland will see a mixture of sleet and snow showers. However, it will be a largely dry night in the north, but overcast and misty with just the slight chance of a wintry shower. England and Wales will have showers continuing in the west and rain along the southern coast of England with the chance of the occasional rumble of thunder. There will be gentle to moderate south-westerly winds with temperatures extremely low in the north but a milder night across central and southern areas.

Tomorrow (Sunday):

Sunday will see early morning showers dying out in Northern Ireland and many other western areas to leave it a generally dry and bright day. However, there will be quite a few wintry showers in northern and eastern areas of Scotland which will move south throughout the day but look set to die out by the evening.

UK Outlook (Monday and Tuesday):

On Monday, after a foggy and misty start for most rain will move into the south-west but will be moving very slowly so will only reach southern and western areas of Wales and England by nightfall. Elsewhere, there will be variable cloud and sunny intervals. Tuesday will be very unsettled with rain, sleet and snow moving into the south and spreading slowly north throughout the day, not quite reaching the far north of England and Scotland, where it will be largely dry and bright.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz