Belfast Telegraph

Weather warning for Northern Ireland as Arctic blast takes its toll

A weather warning has been issued for Northern Ireland for ice.

All six counties are said to be affected. Some roads, pavements and cycle paths will be slippery, and some longer journey times by road and bus services are likely, right through the Monday morning rush hour.

The warning is in place between 12.00 Sunday and 12.00 on Monday.

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Blankets of snow covered most of the country since Friday morning, creating havoc on the roads and causing power cuts in rural areas.

More than 20cm of snow fell on high ground while some urban areas felt the chill with 7cms falling, and treacherous conditions caused by ice.

Widespread frost and scattered light wintry overnight showers produced more icy patches this morning as the temperature was expected to plummet to -8 °C in the early hours on high ground.

Across Northern Ireland extra gritters were deployed, and assistance staff were put on 24 hour standby to treat main roads and help keep traffic moving.

Both Belfast's City and International airports cancelled flights to London Heathrow and Birmingham leaving hundreds stranded.

Among those stuck in England were demonstrators from far-right movement Britain First, who were due to stage a rally outside Belfast City Hall yesterday in protest at a charge brought against their deputy leader Jayda Fransen following comments made in a speech in the city earlier this year. Yesterday's rally was cancelled when many of the protesters were left stranded at Luton Airport.

Met Office spokesperson Oli Claydon said today would see a thaw with a maximum temperature of 4°C. Rain is forecast from tomorrow through to Thursday but it will remain cold. According to Met Office UK, Northern Ireland experienced an even colder snap on Christmas Eve 2010, with a low of -18.7 °C.

Wintry showers will become more frequent over northern Scotland on Sunday afternoon, with some extending to Northern Ireland during Sunday evening and night.

A further 2-5 cm of snow is likely over parts of northern mainland Scotland with 5-10 cm possible over some high ground.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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