Worst cold snap in years set to hit Northern Ireland

More snow on the way
More snow on the way

Northern Ireland is set this week for the worst cold snap in years, although it will escape the extreme freeze due to hit other parts of the UK.

WEATHER WARNING: Heavy snow on the way as Northern Ireland set to freeze

The worst of the cold weather will arrive here later in the week, but it will be very chilly even today with temperatures set to plunge as low as minus six degrees celsius overnight.

Tomorrow night is set to be even colder, while on Wednesday several centimetres of snow is likely to fall.

There have been stark warnings about the weather event, dubbed the ‘beast from the east’, that will bring bitterly cold air in from Siberia.

The News Letter spoke to Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill yesterday to find out just how cold things are going to get here in Ulster.

“The worst of it will be in other parts of the UK but Northern Ireland’s not getting away with it,” he explained. “It is unusual to have this cold period so late in the winter.”

He said it is likely to be colder than a similar weather event in 2013.

As for today’s forecast, Mr Burkill said: “It should be sunny but still cold to start the day, before turning a little bit cloudier from the east. There’s the possibility of a few snow showers in eastern parts of Northern Ireland as we go through the afternoon.”

Temperatures are unlikely to climb above a chilly four degrees celsius anywhere in the country, while overnight the mercury could drop down to minus six in some places, with most areas around minus two or three .

As for tomorrow, the meteorologist said: “Temperature wise it should be chilly again, quite similar to Monday, with highs of just four. Tuesday night into Wednesday will be another cold night. It could get to minus seven in some spots.”

By Wednesday up to 10 centimetres of snow could be gathering on high ground, and Thursday should be similarly icy.

While Mr Burkill said the forecast is less certain, by Friday Northern Ireland could be looking at “persistent, significant snow”.