Belfast Telegraph

Weather: Northern Ireland school closures, roads and flights hit as snow Beast meets Storm Emma

Buses stopped and trains expected to end lunchtime Thursday

Can you do better than this? A reader's picture from last year: Dundrod Co Antrim, submitted by Paul McFarland, Dromore.
Can you do better than this? A reader's picture from last year: Dundrod Co Antrim, submitted by Paul McFarland, Dromore.
Can you do better than this? Readers' snow pictures 2015: To all the sceptics, this is 100% not photoshopped. My boyfriend and I built it dodging cat poo in my garden the entire time. Submitted by Emma Hamill
The rural beauty of Annaclone, Co Down this morning. Pic: Paula McNeill (29/01/2015)
Hillsborough Parish Church and Snow Topped Lisburn. Submitted by Tommy Blake. Jan 2015
Readers' snow pictures 2015: Enough snow in Belfast to make a life-size horse! Submitted by Laura
Here is a picture of the snow dragon/ dinosaur my wife Sarah and I built on Thursday 29th January outside the in law’s home in Carryduff, Belfast. Submitted by Ruiseal McKimm
Readers' winter pictures 2015 - Myself and two friends took advantage of the recent snowfall and went for a hike in the Mourne Mountains. It was a stunning landscape. I shot this image as we were coming off Pierce's Castle 495m. I have aptly named it 'Frozen Landscape'. - David J Campbell. Twitter handle: @Photodave109
Remarkable winter scenes on Benbradagh Mountain
Image of snow in Mayfield area of Glengormely. Submitted by Santhosh John. Jan 2015
Snow clings to the trees on the Cochranstown Road near Lisburn
A low winter sun peers over the horizon at Dundrod yesterday morning
A squirrel hunts for food in gardens in west Belfast
Dog-walkers in Stormont Estate yesterday
A horse braves the sleet and snow in Belfast
Hector, a Spanish Water Dog, plays in the snow
A touch of snow on the Coastal Path, Bangor. Pic Arlette Maginness (29/01/2015)
Portrush
Glengormley
Snow on the A1 dual carriageway near Newry, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 28, 2015. A cold weather front is to sweep in with temperatures expected to drop as much as 10C to below zero overnight into Thursday. See PA story WEATHER Cold. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sheep in the snow in the Glens of Antrim, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 28, 2015. A cold weather front is to sweep in with temperatures expected to drop as much as 10C to below zero overnight into Thursday. See PA story WEATHER Cold. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Snow in the Glens of Antrim, as an orange weather alert is announced in Northern Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 28, 2015. A cold weather front is to sweep in with temperatures expected to drop as much as 10C to below zero overnight into Thursday. See PA story WEATHER Cold. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Little 16-month-old Clara has fun as she gets her first glimpse of the snow and takes her first steps in the winter wonderland in Limavady. Pic. Hannah McCausland 13/01/2015
Spring is just around the corner. Lambeg Pic: George Wills 25/01/2015
A snowy scene taken through a bus window while travelling home to Co. Tyrone. 18/01/2015 Pic. Feldore McHugh
Slemish looking cold and grey in Broughshane. Pic. Maureen Ballantine 16/01/2015
Motorists make their way through snowfall in Gortin near Omagh, as many parts of the UK were on snow alert with wintry showers threatening to disrupt travel. Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Sheep and a grouse in fields in Drumbo
A blanket of snow in Glenarm Co Antrim. Pic Matthew Morrow (28/01/2015)
The magical reflections of the mallards in the sunshine. Oxford Island Craigavon. Pic Noeni Bryars 22/01/2015
A blanket of snow covers Rathfriland. January 2015
A low sun rises over a gate in the Moneyrea countryside
‘Keeper’ the German shepherd plays in the snow in Ballycastle yesterday. The adverse weather conditions, however, brought misery to many
A solitary figure is framed by the famous trees of the Dark Hedges. January 15. 2015
Beautiful wintry image of Loughbrickland Lake Co Down. Pic. Lisa Young 13/01/2015
A blanket of snow over Dungiven. Pic. Natasha Kealey. 13/01/2015
Traffic slowed down due to snow on the Glendermot road Londonderry. Pic. Marcus Bye 13/01/2015
Moonlit snow and stars over derelict house on Glenshane Pass. Photo by Martin McKenna.
Walkers on Divis Mountain, Belfast
In England, a jay skips through the snow in Kielder Forest
A donkey on Divis Mountain, Belfast
Traffic on the Glenshane Pass in Co Londonderry, as snow is replaced with rain and high winds across the province.

Snow, ice and plummeting temperatures are expected to cause chaos in the coming days as the 'Beast from the East' and Storm Emma meet in the skies to batter Northern Ireland.

The much-anticipated Siberian storm arrived yesterday, bringing dry snow and bitterly cold winds. Temperatures today will feel as low as -10C.

Storm Emma will arrive from the south today, bringing moisture and an added risk of ice.

And as the public braced itself for worsening conditions, officials from government departments, councils, utility and emergency services yesterday confirmed arrangements are in place to deal with any fallout from the extreme weather.

A yellow weather warning from the Met Office is in place across the province and will last until Saturday night, with up to 10cm of snow expected to fall both today and tomorrow.

There could be as much as 15cm in the countryside, while on Saturday morning the focus of concern will turn to potentially treacherous ice.

The powdery snow that has come with the Beast from the East will turn wetter tomorrow with the arrival of Storm Emma, meaning "better snowballs", according to Nicky Maxey from the Met Office.

"The Beast from the East has brought dry, extremely cold air right across Europe," she said.

"So when Storm Emma arrives bringing wet air into the mix, there will be a slight thaw meaning potential for ice.

"Temperatures will go up ever so slightly, although it will be far from balmy in Belfast, still feeling very cold at about minus six degrees."

There were a number of road closures and traffic collisions throughout yesterday evening, as well as warnings from the authorities about icy conditions.

In addition to disruption on the roads, travellers were hit in the air and on the rails with flights in and out of Belfast and trains across Ireland cancelled.

Translink said a red weather alert in the Republic meant even more disruption was expected today.

Bus Eireann cancelled all cross-border services and Translink said the Enterprise service will also be badly affected.

It said the last Enterprise train to Dublin will leave Belfast at 12.35pm today, while the last Belfast-bound Enterprise will depart from Dublin Connolly station at 1.20pm.

Major events, including tomorrow's Ulster PRO14 rugby match against Glasgow, have already felt the brunt of the weather, with organisers putting the game back until next month.

Meanwhile, an army of around 300 staff and 130 gritters worked on the road network overnight.

Officials at the Department for Infrastructure warned drivers to allow more time for journeys and to take care on the roads through the course of today.

Windy weather could cause lying snow to drift, they added.

The Executive Office last night urged the public to look out for elderly neighbours and vulnerable relatives as sub-zero temperatures carry on into the weekend.

The annual Northern Ireland conference of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, which was due to take place at the Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh tomorrow and Saturday, has also been pushed back.

The conference is attended by more than 500 teachers every year.

The cold weather is expected to last through the weekend, with showery flurries meaning the snow covering will vary from place to place.

Emergency numbers

• Emergency services — 999 or 112

• Northern Ireland Electricity Networks — 03457 643 643

• NI Gas Emergency Service — 0800 002 001

• Northern Ireland Water

Waterline — 03457 440 088

• Flooding Incident Line — 0300 2000 100

• Housing Executive — 03448 920 901

• Report a fallen tree or blocked road — 0300 200 7891

 

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