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Spring bounces in: NI to enjoy dry and bright spell, but rain and wind set to return


A newborn lamb enjoys the sunshine on the McAuley family farm in Larne, Co Antrim. Credit: Kevin Scott

A newborn lamb enjoys the sunshine on the McAuley family farm in Larne, Co Antrim. Credit: Kevin Scott

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A newborn lamb enjoys the sunshine on the McAuley family farm in Larne, Co Antrim. Credit: Kevin Scott

Spring appeared to have sprung on Sunday – but is it going to last?

Northern Ireland is set to enjoy a dry, bright and settled few days of spring sunshine before wet and windy weather returns towards the end of the week, the Met Office has said.

Monday will be dry with long, bright or sunny spells. Fresh southeasterly winds will become strong along eastern coasts.

And the outlook for Tuesday through to Thursday is mainly dry too, but it will also be windy. Outbreaks of rain are expected heading into the weekend.

Although the UK has officially said goodbye to the meteorological winter, parts of the country could see the return of unsettled conditions, cold spells and even snow.

From Wednesday onwards, an area of low pressure will blow in off the Atlantic, bringing a chance of wintry showers and cool temperatures. Areas of higher ground in northern areas could see snow.

The change in weather comes as an area of high pressure that has lingered over the UK in recent days, bringing a spell of dry, spring-like weather, moves northeastwards. In its place, low pressure will bring spells of wet and windy weather, with brief drier and brighter interludes and it will turn cool.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said that over the next fortnight, much of the UK should expect a return to wet and blustery conditions from March 9 or 10 onwards.

“Northern Ireland will enjoy a dry, bright and settled few days,” she said. “From the middle of the week that high pressure system will move out, and it looks like a low pressure system will come in from the Atlantic.

“The timing of when that happens and how it will happen are still quite uncertain, but we can see a transition which will include heavy rain, strong winds and the potential for snow as the system from the west hits the cold air in the east.”

Meteorological spring started on March 1, but snow showers and frost may return to parts of northern and northeastern England and Scotland, she said.

“There is a likelihood of snow over higher ground in northern England and Scotland, but there is still quite a bit of uncertainty because it depends what direction that high pressure moves in,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland had its fourth warmest winter on record, with an average temperature of 5.8C – which is 1.2C above normal.

Winter ended dramatically with three named storms in less than a week, the first time this has happened since they began to be given names in the 2015/16 season.

Storm Barra was the first of six named storms to arrive, on December 5, causing flooding and travel disruption.

It was followed by Storms Malik and Corrie on January 29 and 30. Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin then hit on February 16, 18 and 20. Yellow and amber warnings for strong winds were issued for Northern Ireland for all three storms.

It was the first time since 2017 that six storms were named in one winter season.

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