Mix of snow, sleet and rain to hit Province

Salting the roads on the Upper Springfield Road, Co Antrim

Northern Ireland has not seen the last of the current wintry spell, with more snow set to fall during the rest of the week.

Met Office forecasters said Thursday is set to bring breezy weather, along with a mix of rain, sleet and snow showers.

There is set to be extra snow of up to about 3cm (1.2inches) on higher ground during the day, with heavier snowfall expected during the evening – possibly up to 20cm (just under 8 inches) in extreme cases on higher ground according to forecaster Stuart Brooks.

Snowfall is expected to continue into Friday, but this could well be the “last blast”, he said.

Saturday looks brighter and calmer, with Sunday likely to bring a spell of rain.

As for the top readings from yesterday, fellow forecaster Mark Wilson said the highest snowfall lying anywhere in Northern Ireland as of 7pm last night was at Glennane, Co Armagh, where 18cm (7.1 inches) was recorded. However, Mr Wilson said not all stations record snowfall, so the true maximum level may be higher.

The top temperature was 6.4C at 2pm at the Giant’s Causeway, and the lowest –1C just after midnight at Killylane, Antrim.

In addition, Unite the union said yesterday that it understands road gritting rotas covering rural Antrim and Down are “understaffed” due to dissatisfaction over pay. The BBC quoted a Department of Infrastructure spokesman as saying “full staffing remains in place”.

Meanwhile the Ambulance Service, which had attended 25 crashes between midnight on Tuesday and 5.30pm, said the number of call-outs to road accidents was drastically down on Wednesday compared to the previous day.

A spokesman for the service said that despite ongoing bad driving conditions, between midnight on Wednesday and 7.30pm at night, it had attended just five crashes.

The average crash attendances per day, when calculated across the whole year, is 13.

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