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Snow in October, the final straw

Signs of Christmas coming early appeared in Northern Ireland yesterday as parts of the province were covered in snow.

It may still only be October but the UK is set for icy weather in the next couple of days after a sudden cold snap.

Between a quarter of an inch and one inch of snow fell near Portadown yesterday — and weather experts have predicted that the wintry conditions will continue throughout the rest of the week.

It was forecast that the cold conditions would affect most parts of the UK last night, with snow falling over high ground in Northern Ireland.

And the Met Office said the occasional wintry showers would continue today with some sunshine in between.

The frosty conditions are expected to last until Friday.

Michael Dukes from MeteoGroup said that throughout Tuesday winds from the North Pole will bring “out-of-season sleet and snow showers” southwards across much of the UK.

His forecast for later tonight is clearing skies leading to an unseasonably sharp frost with ice on untreated roads.

“Temperatures will remain well below the seasonal normal for the rest of the week, with further nights frosts,” he said.

However, he did offer one crumb of comfort for those worried this very early cold snap is a sign of a bitter winter, declaring that there is no correlation between cold spells in late October and cold winters.

The early wintry conditions are the latest in a long line of harsh weather conditions to hit the province this year.

In August freak flooding led to motorists in parts of Belfast and Co Down abandoning their cars when faced with severely flooded roads. Rivers burst their banks and bridges were swept away in many areas.

And Belfast's new Broadway Underpass — welcomed for banishing the traffic nightmares of thousands of commuters when it opened ahead of schedule earlier this summer — was closed after being submerged in about 20 million gallons of water.

Belfast Telegraph