Northern Ireland will see a further blast of wintry weather this Thursday with sleet and snow falling across much of the Province overnight.
However, there is no sign of a white Christmas on the horizon yet, according to Press Association’s weather forecasting unit, Meteogroup.
A spokesman said it will turn colder from Thursday, with heavy rain during the day which will later clear away.
“Overnight, winds will change direction, with cold air being dragged down from the north,” he said.
“There will be showers which will be increasingly sleet and snow by early evening Thursday.”
He said showers will be scattered overnight throughout Northern Ireland.
“The north and east areas of Northern Ireland will see the most sleet and snow. There will not be a huge amount but it will settle on high ground, particularly in the north and west.
“Other areas may see a light dusting of snow on Friday morning.”
There could be further wintry showers on Friday but Friday and Saturday will be drier, he said.
However, next week will be milder and there is no further snow on the horizon.
Responding to some media reports that this winter will be another particularly cold one, he said they were only able to forecast for the next 10 days and he would not like to comment on such speculation.
Forecasts, particularly for Scotland, are more severe this week, however.
The northerly winds from the Arctic will bring freezing temperatures to large parts of the UK, with snow showers affecting mainly Scotland with some impact also on Northern Ireland, parts of northern England, north Wales and the east coast from Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to plummet to as low as -4C (-25F) overnight on Thursday in parts of Scotland with the bitter northerly winds set to leave Britain shivering.
“The winds will turn more northerly on Thursday afternoon through Friday, bringing cold air down from the Arctic and with that it will also be very unsettled with snow showers,” said Rachel Vince, senior meteorologist with MeteoGroup.
Health Minister Edwin Poots, in urging older people to keep warm this winter, has issued some key points:
l Check the weather forecast regularly and ensure you have enough food and medicines in stock;
l Wearing the right kind of clothes can help keep you much warmer. Layers are best. T-shirts and under clothes to keep the base of your back warm will heat you from the core;
l If outdoors, take care on potentially icy roads and pavements and wrap up well, wearing boots with good grip, a scarf, gloves and a hat;
l A balanced diet will help keep you warm and healthy in the winter. Make sure you eat at least one hot meal a day;
l Heat all the rooms you use in the day. Heat your main living room to around 18-21°C (65-70°F) and the rest of your house to at least 16°C (61°F). If you can’t heat all your rooms, make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed;
l Maintain contact with trusted callers, friends and relatives for assistance.