A cold spell that is hitting southern Britain tonight is largely escaping Northern Ireland.
The mercury is set to fall tonight in England, most of which is anticipated to see temperatures fall to as low as minus 4C (28F), with London set for temperatures falling to a potential low of minus 3C (26.6F).
Scotland is forecast to see a low of minus 5C (23F), with rural areas likely to be coldest.
But Northern Ireland is only expected to be chilly, perhaps as low as of 0C (32F) or below in some places, with rural areas also expected to be coldest.
But the Province is not expecting any imminent return to the harsh conditions of last week.
John Wylie, the Met Office’s public weather advisor for Northern Ireland, told the News Letter: “We had our cold snap last week. But there is enough cloud to spare us the severe temperatures in England and Wales this week.
“It reached minus 7.5C at Katesbridge, and there some days that were below zero but we expect nothing like that this week. Perhaps some localised ground frost, but nothing really cold.”
The low temperatures heralding the meteorological arrival of winter on Thursday (December 1) have prompted health officials to warn that cold weather can be fatal.
Dr Angie Bone, from the extreme events team at Public Health England, said: “Cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest.
“Now is the time to prepare for the cold weather forecast by the Met Office, and to think of those you know who are older, very young, or have pre-existing health conditions who are particularly vulnerable.”
Andy Page, chief operational meterologist at the Met Office, said: “Looking ahead into December and beyond, there are indications that a cold start to winter is more likely than normal, but this doesn’t guarantee snow nor does it mean we won’t see spells of mild and wet weather at times.”
Meteorological winter lasts until February 1.