A warm front will protect Northern Ireland from heavy snowfall expected across Great Britain this week, weather forecasters have predicted.
Widespread snow was expected to fall across parts of England and Scotland last night, as the severe weather that began there on Friday continues to tighten its grip.
Many areas were last night expected see up to 3cm of snow to mark the start of December, while 15cm was predicted to fall in the Scottish mountains.
Edinburgh, the Pennines, the Peak District, Co Durham, Yorkshire, Norfolk and East Anglia were all expected to be affected.
Overnight temperatures had dropped to -6C in many parts of Britain, from central Scotland through to Cumbria and Buckinghamshire.
The Met Office had issued a low-level severe weather warning across most of Scotland, north and east England, and north Wales, because of the freezing temperatures and snow fall.
Forecasters had predicted: “Following showers of rain, sleet and snow on Saturday, ice is expected to form on untreated surfaces on Saturday evening and persist well into Sunday morning. Further wintry showers are likely to affect eastern coastal counties through the night. The public should be aware of possible disruption to travel.”
Freezing temperatures in GB are due to last into next week, possibly followed by more snow. According to bookmaker’s Ladbrokes, more money has been staked on a white Christmas than on any other December 1 in its history.
However a spokeswoman for the Press Association’s weather unit said that a warm front was currently lying over Northern Ireland and the Irish Sea and that it is sweeping eastwards.
“The warmer air does not allow the snow to form, instead it is forming as rain,” she told the News Letter. The outlook for the rest if the week in Northern Ireland is “sunshine and showers”, she said.
There are no snowfalls predicted for Northern Ireland at the moment.
She said: “It is definitely looking unsettled. There may be some snowflakes on higher ground.”