NI Weather Warning: Met Office forecast as yellow weather warning comes into force across Northern Ireland

The Met Office have issued a yellow weather warning for snow and Ice, here's everything you need to know.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 11:39 am
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 5:50 pm

Northern Ireland has been hit with an unexpected cold spell in recent days, on Tuesday, the Met Office issued a yellow warning for Snow and Ice across the province.

The Met Office have predicted, 'Frequent sleet, hail and snow showers may lead to some disruption to travel during Thursday night and Friday morning.'

The warning which is in place from 8pm Thursday, January 6 to 11am on Friday, January 7, also predicts, 'some snow settling on the hills.'

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What is the Met Office weather forecast for Northern Ireland?

The Met Office forecast for Thursday evening states, 'Clear periods and wintry showers with snow possible to lower levels especially over western areas. Fewer showers over Antrim and Down. Fresh to strong westerly winds with frost in shelter. Minimum temperature -1 °C.'

The Met Office weather forecast for Friday, 7, gives an outlook of, 'Sunny spells with further wintry showers during the morning, dying out in the afternoon. Feeling cold with fresh westerly winds. Maximum temperature 5 °C.'

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What does a yellow weather warning mean?

A yellow weather warning is the least severe warning, being one down from amber.

It means the weather is likely to have some impact on people's daily life, for example causing travel disruption.

What to expect from a yellow weather warning?

The Met Office have predicted that:

Some roads and railways likely to be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services

Probably some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths

Some brief power outages are possible with a risk of isolated lightning strikes.

How can I stay safe when driving in snow?

When snow or ice are forecast you need to take extra care when driving on the road and adjust your driving or route accordingly.

Before snow or ice

If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive and your route. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling

Put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow

Check on vulnerable neighbours

During snow or ice

Avoid travel if possible

If you must drive check the Highway Code for advice on driving in ice and snowy weather. A summary of the advice is: Take care around gritters. Don't be tempted to overtake. Slow down - it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes don't slam them on. If you get stuck, stay with your car and tie something brightly coloured to your aerial

If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat. Watch out for signs of hypothermia - uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse and drowsiness and frostbite - loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate

Be aware of black ice. It isn't always visible and so can be an even greater hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. Black ice may be formed when rain or drizzle fall on a road surface which is at a temperature below zero

After snow or ice

Be careful when walking or driving on compacted snow - it may have turned to ice

Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in the vulnerable

You can find out more at the Met Office here.

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