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Northern Ireland faces stormy weekend as Dennis sweeps in

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Swans at the foot of snow-filled hills in Camlough

Swans at the foot of snow-filled hills in Camlough

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Swans at the foot of snow-filled hills in Camlough

More stormy weather is on the way for Northern Ireland, according to forecasters.

A yellow weather warning was in place overnight with heavy rain lashing the region.

As forecasters warned of transport disruption, the Met Office said rain would spread northwards during the early hours of the morning, preceded by a spell of snow on higher ground.

It comes after a blanket of snow descended yesterday in the wake of Storm Ciara. Six schools were forced to close - three in Co Down, two in Co Tyrone and one in Co Armagh.

Blanket of snow covers Northern Ireland [Photos] Close

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: 
Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said.
A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad.
Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Pacemaker Press 12-02-2020: Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather this weekend as a second storm approaches. Storm Dennis will bring "very strong winds" and potential for transport disruption from Sunday, the Met Office said. A yellow wind warning is in place from midday on Sunday February 16 ending at midday Monday. Condition on the Glenshane Pass in the north west are particularly bad. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Northern Ireland looks set for more bad weather. Picture By: Arthur Allison. Pacemaker Press.

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020 Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020 Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020 Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020 Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020
Photograph by Declan Roughan

Press Eye - Weather Picture - Cave Hill Belfast - 12th February 2020 Photograph by Declan Roughan

Forecasters have warned of another "miserable" week of weather.

Storm Dennis is heading this way over the weekend with the Met Office warning of potentially more disruption.

A yellow warning for wind will be in place from midday on Sunday for 24 hours as a low-pressure system develops in the North Atlantic before making its way across Northern Ireland.

Steve Ramsdale, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "Another spell of very wet and windy weather is expected for Saturday. Although Storm Dennis is currently not expected to be as severe as Ciara, disruption is still likely.

"Our confidence in the forecast means we have been able to issue severe weather warnings well in advance, giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm."

Over the weekend wind gusts will widely reach in excess of 50mph, even across some inland areas, with gusts of over 60mph possible over hills, coastal areas and exposed locations.

While winds have the potential to bring disruption they are not expected to be as strong as the gusts over the past week. In some parts of the UK Storm Ciara brought gales of 97mph.

Heavy rain with a risk of flooding is also expected as Storm Dennis moves in.

Disruption is expected to transport, along with possible power cuts.

Today will see more snow, mostly on higher ground before thawing out by the afternoon. Tomorrow is to start with gales then sunshine and a few showers.

It will be wet and very windy on Saturday with sunshine, blustery showers and severe gales on Sunday.

The bad weather has also hindered efforts to harvest the remainder of last year's potato crop. Around 10% of the 2019 crop is still in the ground. However, the recent onslaught of Storm Ciara meant more frustration for growers.

The dry break in the unusual winter weather two weeks ago had given some potato farmers hope of saving the last of their crops before any inclement weather set in.

One of those farmers on a rescue mission is north Down grower Derek Erwin, who farms with his son Ethan.

Taking advantage of a few days of dry conditions the father and son team were attempting to harvest a crop of the Cultra variety, on the outskirts of Dundonald, which they first started into last October.

Their progress was short lived when Storm Ciara arrived. The family say harvesting has been put back for another 10 days or two weeks to see if any dry weather can compensate for all the rain Ciara brought with her.

Derek said: "The potatoes should have been lifted before the end of October. But the constant rain at that time made the completion of the harvest just impossible."

Derek expects that the remainder of the crop in the fields yet to harvest will be down by between 15% and 20%.

Belfast Telegraph