Belfast Telegraph

Freezing Ulster has Belfast Telegraph readers snapping away

The freezing weather conditions causing havoc across Northern Ireland are to continue until the weekend – providing ample opportunities for our readers to get their cameras out and start snapping.

As the clocks are wound forward for the start of British Summer Time this Easter bank holiday weekend, snow is still likely to be coating parts of the province.

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The Public Weather Service advisor to Northern Ireland summed up the treacherous conditions as "a never-ending winter".

John Wylie also revealed that temperatures will hit as low as -5 degrees this week as the unseasonable big freeze continues to wreak havoc. "It's unusually cold for late March and it's going to stay very cold over the next few days," said Mr Wylie. "Temperatures by day will be no more than 4 or 5 degrees, but equally night time temperatures could be down to -4 or -5 degrees inland.

"A lot of the snow that is lying is not going to get a chance to melt, particularly on the high ground, but that in some respects is not a bad thing.

"There's so much of it that if it was to all melt very quickly there could be real problems, but that doesn't look like it will be the case and I think we can expect a gradual thaw out of snow."

Mr Wylie said there might be more snow showers, particularly in the eastern counties, but he added that a huge quantity of the white stuff is not expected.

"In comparison to what we have already had, the fresh snowfall won't be in the same league," he said, advising people to wrap up.

The bad news will offer little relief to the hundreds of householders still suffering the effects of the inclement weather. Many sheep farmers have been unable to get food supplies to their livestock and face significant losses.

Bookies Ladbrokes now has a white Easter as odds-on, and is offering 5/1 that it will be the coldest Easter weekend ever.

The Met Office has extended its level three cold weather alert until Friday for parts of the UK.

The continuing Arctic conditions are in stark contrast to this week last year when headlines proclaimed Britain hotter than Madrid or California, with sun-seekers heading to the beach to enjoy an early spring heatwave.

On March 24 last year, Porthmadog in North Wales saw the warmest temperature, reaching 21.7C (71F) – making it hotter than Madrid, Rome, Athens and Barcelona

Nick Prebble, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division for the Press Association, said the cold weather was expected to last for at least a few more days, although there will be a respite from the heavy snowfalls.

He said: "The cold and dry weather will stay with us and it will be a similar picture for the next three days. Temperatures are going to struggle, generally reaching 2-3C (35.6-37.4F).

"It will feel even colder though, because of the easterly breeze bringing in colder air."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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