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Beast from East to give Northern Ireland the cold shoulder

NI more likely to get rain as rest of UK freezes


Winter wonderland: A dog walker in the snow at Braco near Dunblane in Scotland

Winter wonderland: A dog walker in the snow at Braco near Dunblane in Scotland


Winter wonderland: A dog walker in the snow at Braco near Dunblane in Scotland

Northern Ireland may avoid the worst conditions as the 'Beast from the East' returns, but that will be of cold comfort with another bleak period of weather in store.

The region is more likely to experience rain than snow next week, dodging the cold snap on its way for the rest of the UK, the Met Office said.

Parts of Britain are bracing themselves for the reappearance of the Beast from the East - the weather system that caused travel chaos in 2018 - over the next fortnight.

Earlier this month the UK and Ireland's weather system experienced a sudden stratospheric warming event, causing the wind direction to change.

It can take around two weeks for its effects to be shown in forecasts, but already parts of the eastern UK have been blanketed in snow, with more forecast to fall next week.

Two years ago the Beast from the East shut schools across the UK due to icy, sub-zero conditions.

A warning was issued as the severe cold snap hit us for a week.

Around 25cm of snow was recorded at Glenann in Co Antrim.

This time around we are likely to miss out on the worst effects due to milder temperatures, according to the Met Office's Nicola Maxey.

But she stressed that a cold snap cannot be entirely ruled out here.

"There's a bit of uncertainty in the forecast going forward. I would advise people to keep an eye out for forecasts," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"[But] with Northern Ireland being on the western side of the UK, it's more likely to experience the milder air, and more likely to see spells of unsettled conditions... spells of rain."

A yellow warning for rainfall had been in place locally until 3pm yesterday. Looking forward to next week, the weather expert said current forecasts predict higher temperatures here compared to Britain.

"It's milder air but Northern Ireland isn't going to suddenly see temperatures jumping up, and will probably be looking at average temperatures [for this time of year]."

She added that if the weather system did bring colder air, it would likely only see snowfalls for a short period of time.

"Overall, conditions look unsettled for the northern half of the UK, and it will be feeling the colder effects of that air coming in from the north, while the south will be experiencing near average temperatures for this time of year," she said.

Today is expected to be a "fine, dry day", becoming cloudy in the evening.

"This will bring a band of rain from the west, which will continue into Saturday and will clear by lunchtime, but it will still be cloudy," she explained.

"Rain may also happen on Sunday. Monday's looking like a wet day, with showers throughout the day."

Belfast Telegraph