Belfast Telegraph

Colder than Alaska: Katesbridge, Co Down hits -8.8c

By Nevin Farrell

It was colder than parts of Alaska and the Antarctic.

The tiny hamlet of Katesbridge in Co Down has shivered its way into the weather records.

The local weather station clocked the lowest Northern Ireland temperature of 2014 so far when the mercury plummeted to -8.8 degrees Celsius early yesterday.

Residents endured temperatures colder than Alaska, where it was -8C, and the Antarctic Belgrano II weather station - just 800 miles from the South Pole - which was -5C.

Katesbridge was only narrowly beaten to recording the coldest temperature in the UK for 2014 by Cromdale in Scotland, which hit -9C on December 27.

Katesbridge's weather station consistently records some of the lowest temperatures in Northern Ireland.

Tina Walsh (34), manager of Katesbridge Spar, said the dropping temperatures was the talk of many customers.

She lives eight miles away in Waringsford, but even there, when she left the house around 6.30am, her car was recording the outside temperature as -7C.

"The roads were as good as they could be and the main ones were salted but the back roads were really bad. It normally takes me around 15 minutes to get to work but today it took half-an-hour."

Andrea O'Hare (40), from the Knock Road near Katesbridge, said: "This area always seems to be a lot colder than anywhere else.

"It was very, very cold here and the roads were very icy.

"My husband had to grit the road outside our house."

So, what is about Katesbridge and the cold?

Previously, Met Office forecaster John Wylie explained why Katesbridge and Castlederg, Co Tyrone, experienced such low temperatures - they are both located in low-lying regions known as "frost hollows".

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