Weather warning in Northern Ireland for wintry spells of snow and sleet
Northern Ireland is braced for snow, sleet and hail, with other parts of the UK bracing themselves for ice and high winds as the week progresses.
A yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place here until Wednesday evening, covering Northern Ireland, most of Scotland and the far north of England.
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Snowfalls of up to 20cms are expected on higher ground, with deposits of up to 8cms likely in more populated areas.
Hail, lightning and blizzard conditions are also possible in certain areas, forecasters warn.
Travel delays are possible and there is a chance of power cuts throughout the duration of the weather warning.
The Department for Infrastructure said that around 300 staff and 130 gritters will be busy salting roads with 12 specialist snow blowers also available.
Met office forecaster John Wylie said: "The wintry spell will see snow showers blowing strong with very cold west and north west wind.
"It could give quite a few centimetres of settling snow in places through the course of the day and some drifting on higher ground.
"There will be cold temperatures barely above freezing during the course of the day and falling a few degrees below freezing during the night.
"It looks as though on Wednesday some of that snow could begin to thaw out but wet and windy weather will spread across the area through Wednesday night and Thursday morning and potentially stormy conditions, but that's open for questioning.
"This is really normal mid-winter weather."
Sara Venning, NI Water's chief executive, warned householders to avoid frozen pipes by taking precautions.
She said: "Insulating your pipework is an essential action to protect your water supply and that of your neighbours."