Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland braced for big freeze as snow and ice rolls in

By Nina Massey

Northern Ireland could be blanketed in almost a foot of snow by the middle of the week, forecasters have said.

Some of the UK will feel colder than parts of the Arctic Circle as freezing temperatures continue into the week.

Widespread snow is forecast, and the Met Office has issued an amber warning for snow in the eastern half of the province from 4am-9pm on Wednesday.

The Met Office said that by the end of Wednesday, more than 20cm of snow may have accumulated in some parts of eastern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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And there is a yellow weather warning for snow for all of Thursday.

By the middle of the week, the majority of the UK is being warned of the potential for delays on the roads, rail and in the air.

The alert also warns there may be some power cuts and loss of mobile phone signal.

Today Northern Ireland will be cloudy with perhaps the odd light wintry shower towards the east.

The best of the cloud breaks will be over Fermanagh and Tyrone where some sunny spells are possible.

The maximum temperature will be just 4C.

Warning for snow in Northern Ireland. Met Office graphic

There will be sunny spells and a few light wintry showers tomorrow, before turning bitterly cold and windy - with frequent snow showers for the rest of the week.

Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said: "The UK is on track for some really cold weather this week.

"It's not going to be record-breaking, but it'll be pretty exceptional - winds are going to make it feel minus 10C (14F) to minus 15C (5F) during the day."

Mr Powell added: "By Thursday evening there are growing signs there could be some significant snowfall across southern England.

"Unusually for Britain, the snow is going to be quite dry, so it will blow around and gather in drifts and we could see some blizzard conditions.

"We don't want to scare people, but people should make sure they are prepared for some seriously cold weather."

Lows of -5C (23F) recorded over the weekend marked the lowest temperature in the week leading up to March 1, the first day of spring, since 1986.

The wind chill, which could see parts of the UK feeling as cold as -15C (5F), rivals the temperatures forecast for parts of northern Norway and Iceland.

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