ULSTER is bracing itself for more snow storms and gale force winds on Wednesday.
Winds of 70mph in Magilligan and 67mph in Castlederg were recorded yesterday while the highest wave ever measured in local waters — 20.4 metres — was recorded off the coast of Donegal.
The monster 67-footer was measured at a special buoy off the Donegal coast at 2pm yesterday as a force ten storm raged across the north coast.
Meteorologists at Met Eireann said data from the sea conditions about 60 miles to sea were the most severe it has encountered that distance offshore.
Even stronger winds of up to 80mph were expected to hit the north coast overnight with the minimum temperature across Northern Ireland expected to be around zero.
This morning the temperature is expected to be a little warmer, up to 5oC, with rain, sleet and wet snow forecast for low areas, and snow on higher ground with up to 10cm in places like the Sperrin mountains.
The Met Office has issued an orange “be prepared” warning for the high winds in Northern Ireland.
The weather warning is in place until this evening, but by tomorrow the weather is expected to become calmer.
The extreme weather caused disruption to travel yesterday when several sailings of the Rathlin ferry were cancelled, while Translink said that the high winds will also lead to speed restrictions on all rail services throughout the day.
They have warned passengers to expect some delays. Those using these services should check before travelling today.
Drivers are also warned the roads will become icy at times.
A fallen tree led to the closure of the Roshure Road in Desertmartin yesterday afternoon, with police advising motorists to seek alternative routes.
The Farlough Road in Portadown was also closed yesterday due to a fallen tree, police said.
Meanwhile in Co Down, waves were coming over the sea wall on the Portaferry Road leading to hazardous driving conditions and poor visibility.
Across the water, high winds and heavy rain battered England and Wales while parts of Scotland faced blizzard conditions as the stormy weather continued.
One man had a lucky escape when a tree smashed into his bedroom while he was asleep in Winchester, Hampshire.
Former ambassador Richard Wilkinson, 65, suffered only an ear injury despite the beech tree crushing his bedroom. Luckily his wife Angela, 52, was away as the tree crashed onto her side of the bed.
The south of England and South Wales bore the brunt of the wind and rain last night with up to 40mm falling in some areas in 12 hours.
But an even stronger storm that was forecast for later this week is now expected to be weaker and hit France and Germany, explained Chris Burton from MeteoGroup, the Press Association’s weather arm.
“It’s not unusual to get a westerly flow from the Atlantic causing stormy weather over the UK during autumn and early winter,” he said.
“For the last few years it’s been different with colder weather, so it seems worse than usual, but it’s not.”
Gusts of 70mph were measured in Devon, 60mph in South Wales and 64mph was recorded in Langdon Bay, Kent, Meteogroup said.
Last night the focus switched to Northern Ireland and South West Scotland where gusts of 80mph were expected.
The Met Office said one of the stormiest periods the UK has seen for several years was set to continue with heavy rain, strong winds and snow for parts of the country.