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Is end of winter here as flowers spring into life in Belfast?

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Flowers begin to appear during mild conditions in Ormeau Park

Flowers begin to appear during mild conditions in Ormeau Park

Spring is here with the daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops blooming in Barnett Demesne and outside Malone House

Spring is here with the daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops blooming in Barnett Demesne and outside Malone House

Freddie Parkinson

Flowers begin to appear during mild conditions in Ormeau Park

Last week Northern Ireland was battered by Storm Erik as gales reaching 76mph ravaged the countryside - but what a difference a few days make.

This week you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd moved to warmer climes, as daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops began to bloom, painting colourful pictures in parks and forests across the country.

Snowdrops are seen as the first sign that winter is at an end, usually pushing their heads above ground in early February.

Daffodils can appear mid-winter but more usually towards the end of February, while crocuses are another common sight in the early days of spring.

And it looks like they might have got their timing spot on, as today should see the warmest temperatures of the week, hitting 13C in parts of Northern Ireland.

A dry and bright morning with sunny spells is expected today, especially across northern and eastern parts. However cloud increases from the west through the afternoon with patchy rain spreading east later.

Temperatures are expected to remain in double figures during daytime until the end of February, so it looks like there will be plenty of time to enjoy one of nature's most colourful spectacles.

There should be some sunshine this weekend to help it feel more like the dark days of winter are behind us, with light rain not forecast until next Tuesday.

After that the remainder of the month looks set fair.

Night time temperatures aren't expected to fall below 5C, so it doesn't look likely frost will be nipping at the buds in early morning either.

Belfast Telegraph