Freezing fog adds to Northern Ireland snow and ice woe

This unlucky driver saw his car go off the road in icy conditions at the hairpin at Dundrod just outside Belfast
This unlucky driver saw his car go off the road in icy conditions at the hairpin at Dundrod just outside Belfast
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Freezing fog patches are expected to create difficulties for road users across Northern Ireland, and a snow and ice warning will remain in place throughout Saturday, the Met Office has said.

Temperatures plummeted on Friday night and were forecast to drop as low as minus 8C in some rural areas.

Ponies brave the coldest of weather on Friday at Dundrod just outside Belfast

Ponies brave the coldest of weather on Friday at Dundrod just outside Belfast

Freezing snow on untreated roads and footpaths is an ongoing hazard and a Met Office spokesman urged caution – especially in eastern areas of Co Down and Co Antrim.

”Particularly at risk of icy patches are roads, pavements and cycleways which are either still snow covered, where surfaces are wet from partially melted snow or standing water and areas where wintry showers occur after dark,” he said.

The forecaster added: “Scattered wintry showers will continue to move down from the north but will gradually become confined to eastern areas where there will be some slight accumulations of snow.

“There will be widespread frost forming, along with icy patches where there have been showers.”

Saturday will see a frosty start and many areas will stay dry with occasional sunny spells, however, some wintry showers will persist in eastern areas.

The Met Office forecaster added: “The rain and sleet will gradually die out on Saturday evening and it’s not going to be quite as cold a night as Friday.

“I think we will be looking at temperatures just above freezing for most parts on Saturday night, and then into Sunday it’s mainly cloudy with one or two light showers, then more persistent with rain pushing in from the west during the evening.”

Driving conditions were treacherous in many areas of the Province on Friday morning. In Co Tyrone, a Transport NI gritting lorry slid off the road and into a ditch near Beragh.

In Londonderry, the gritters had to be withdrawn from the Creggan area after a number of young stone throwers targeted the drivers.

The current ‘yellow’ weather warning from the Met Office also applies to parts of Scotland’s east coast, the English Midlands and Wales.

There was also some disruption in Northumberland on Friday with a number of schools closed due to the conditions.