Winds start to drop off in Northern Ireland, according to Met Office

Portstewart under water on Wednesday
Portstewart under water on Wednesday

Winds are starting to drop away in Northern Ireland today, according to a Met Office spokesman.

Dan Williams said: “The high winds are still fairly strong at the moment but they are easing as we go through today.

“Today the winds could be 30-40 mph with higher gusts around the coasts and the hills and exposed areas.

“By tomorrow the strongest gusts will be 20-30 mph.”

Mr Williams said temperatures “are going to stay very low in Northern Ireland today, not rising above four degrees”.

He added: “From this morning to 11am tomorrow there is a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in Northern Ireland.

“Tonight the temperature drops increasingly and there are more wintry showers and accumulations of snow in places.

“Generally speaking Saturday will be a dry day with bright spells around and there will be less chance of those showers being wintry as the temperatures rise a little bit.”

“As the strong winds continue to ease overnight, wintry showers will become more isolated but icy stretches will develop more widely.”

Yesterday Ulster’s coast was battered by severe gales and large waves - and the public were warned to stay away from beaches in the area.

Police on Wednesday said Benone beach, Magilligan, has been closed as it is “dangerous to the public” due to the adverse weather.

Officers warned of “high winds, water surges and debris” in the area and said motorists “should heed the closed signs and not venture onto the beach as it is unsafe”.

The National Trust, which runs the nearby beach at Portstewart, warned members of the public they were risking their lives by going into the sea in a storm.

On its Portstewart Strand Twitter account, the trust said: “We can not stress this enough. Please stay away from the beach. Just witnessed a second person get washed away and only just escape to safety.”

And the Facebook page for a Portstewart beach restaurant - Harry’s Stack - yesterday kept customers informed of the ongoing weather situation which saw “huge tidal surges coming up to our front door”.

A post on Wednesday morning said: “Literally watched some mad person ignore warnings, go onto beach & walked towards rocks... and get swept away by huge wave 20mins ago. Madness. He is ok SO LUCKY. he ignored all warnings from those managing safety here.

“Shocking. Stay away from beaches & coast.”

Meanwhile NIE reported little problems for customers in spite of their precautionary initiating an escalation plan with emergency crews, engineers and call handlers on stand-by.