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'We're not out of the woods yet' as freezing weather returns to NI again

Snow and ice to bring fresh travel disruption this week

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Walkers brave the elements

Walkers brave the elements

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Walkers brave the elements

A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice is set to come into force late on Monday night, as Northern Ireland braces itself for yet another blast of winter weather.

The warning, which stretches across all counties of Northern Ireland from 10pm until midnight on Tuesday, is set to bring spells of snow up to 4cm in some parts, particularly towards the west.

Higher ground could see as much as 10cm.

The return to colder conditions after comparatively milder weather is as a result of an Atlantic weather system pushing into the UK.

Maximum daytime temperatures of just 4 or 5C are expected, with a moderate south-easterly wind making it feel chillier.

Luke Miall, a meteorologist for the Met Office, warned people to keep up-to-date with the situation, particularly those involved in essential travel - with the likelihood of disruption in some areas as a result of the conditions.

"As we go through late Monday evening into Tuesday, the weather system is bumping into cold air which is the perfect recipe at this time of year to see some snow," he explained.

"The main sort of concerns at the moment are during Tuesday morning, when some people are still travelling to work and when it could be quite disruptive.

"The eastern coasts of Northern Ireland, including Belfast, are likely to get off easiest because of the wind direction.

"It may be a bit more transient in Belfast, with a short spell of snow before rain.

"Moving forwards, some of that snow will probably start turning back to rain. As that snow starts to fall as rain later on and falling on cold ground, it could turn to black ice and turn the snow rather slushy.

"This could cause further issues as we head into Tuesday evening and is likely to leave many untreated rural roads particularly troublesome for drivers and essential workers.

"The message is to take extra precautions. We always advise people to keep up-to-date and we do review the warnings regularly. The government advice at the moment is to keep all travel essential. Any journey that can be delayed by a day would be advisable and suggested."

Moving beyond Tuesday, while it will briefly turn milder on Wednesday, there is still the potential for further wintry weather into Thursday and the weekend, with colder air returning from the north. More likely is that any precipitation will fall as rain. However, the risk of ice is likely to remain.

"The middle of the week and onwards will be temporarily less cold for a short time, but returning colder weather is expected for the end of the week and indeed into next weekend," added Mr Miall.

"We are definitely not out of the woods just yet with regard to winter weather."

Belfast Telegraph


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