Gallery: Northern Ireland hit by first snow of winter

The first icy blast of winter has hit Northern Ireland overnight with snow and sleet last night forecast for the first time this winter.

Roads Service gritters were on duty last night to keep the Province’s main road network safe this morning.

Horses on the Upper Springfield Road outside Belfast

Horses on the Upper Springfield Road outside Belfast

A spokeswoman for Press Association weather forecaster Meteogroup said: “It will be a cold start in Northern Ireland on Tuesday morning with temperatures as low as -1C overnight and a maximum temperature of 6C during the day.”

She said there would be “some showers falling as sleet or wet snow right across Northern Ireland” last night.

Early yesterday evening there was already some snow falling on higher ground, she said.

“Tuesday will see a few more wintry showers, with the afternoon mainly dry. It will stay cold for the rest of the week.

“And it will be windy on Wednesday, with windspeeds up to 60mph or 65mph on the north coast.”

Today there could be up to 1cm of snow lying on lower ground in places, with a maximum of 2cm on higher ground, she said.

There is also a risk of ice on untreated roads, she added.

It will remain cold for the next 10 days in Northern Ireland.

The main risk of snow was last night but there may be wintry showers of sleet, hail and snow tomorrow night.

After Thursday it should remain dry and cold with overnight frosts for the next 10 days.

Homes in northern Scotland were last night expected to face the worst of what Meteogroup said were temperatures below the seasonal average.

The sudden cold snap was expected to see temperatures falling below zero across Scotland and peaking at just 4C (39.2F) or 5C (41F), Meteogroup said.

North-westerly winds whipping off the Arctic are expected to bring at least two weeks of near-freezing conditions to Scotland, making November up to 3C (5.4F) colder than last year.

People in the higher regions of Scotland will wake up to the season’s first blanketing of snow today, the forecaster predicted.

Further wintry showers are expected to move south as the week progresses.

A Meteogroup forecaster said: “It does look like much of the UK is in for a cold spell through next week.

“For at least a week, there will be cold north-westerly winds.

“Temperatures through next week will be much lower than recently and generally below the November average.

“It will struggle to get up to four or five degrees and during the nights temperatures will be below zero quite widely, meaning frost across most places.”