Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Co Down experiences UK's coldest temperature for 2014 amid ice and snow across Northern Ireland

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Temperatures in Co Down fell to the lowest of the year right across the UK overnight, as those going back to work after the Christmas break woke up to a freezing start.

The mercury plunged to -8.8 in Katesbridge, Co Down, and while it may not have been as low as the -10C (14F) predicted it is unlikely to have felt much different as 2014 comes to a chilly end.

And there's more chilly weather on the way - but things are set to heat up this week before temperatures plunge once again, according to Meteogroup forecaster John Griffiths.

"It's going to be slightly warmer tomorrow - that's because the winds will pick up and there will be an increase in cloud," he said.

"Tuesday will be cold, but it will be warmer than before, with highs of 9C and a low of 2C

"But it will snap colder again from Saturday as the cloud eases away again with temperatures dropping."

A weather warning for ice is in place for the east Midlands as a combination of freezing temperatures and offshore rain showers risk slippy surfaces.

Rain showers yesterday meant much of the existing snow disappeared, with widespread frost and ice replacing it.

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The figures for overnight temperatures are preliminary, with Met Office forecaster Charles Powell saying it could have been even colder in some parts ahead of official figures being released later.

The warmest area was the Isle of Wight, with a recorded temperature of 1C (33F).

Another chilly night is ahead, Mr Powell said, but the end of the year is shaping up to be a little milder - if wet and windy.

"Tonight will be cold, with the lowest temperatures expected in England and Wales," he said. "But we should have some milder weather later this week and some rain and wind just in time for New Year."

The best place to be weather-wise at the clock strikes midnight is the south-east, he said, which is expected to stay relatively dry.

Freezing weather brought treacherous conditions to roads at the weekend, with many motorists in Sheffield forced to abandon their cars after becoming snowed in.

More than 100,000 homes were left with power shortages as heavy snow wreaked havoc on electricity cables.

And Sheffield was still suffering the effects of the snowfall nearly 48 hours later yesterday when the Blades' League One match with Scunthorpe United was postponed yesterday afternoon for health and safety reasons.

Some lower league matches were also hit by the weather.


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