20/12/2010

Record Low Temperatures Hit NI

With news that temperatures in Northern Ireland dipped overnight to their lowest on record, with -18C recorded at Castlederg, Co Tyrone, it is no surprise that widespread disruption continues.

The Department of Environment announcement that no driving tests were carried out on Friday - due to severe weather conditions was just one of a list of such cancellations.

While all 15 test centres remained open for vehicle inspections, staff shortages due to the weather conditions were also hitting the service, while every effort "will be made to test all vehicles presented with the resources available", according to a statement.

As picture postcard scenes appeared over the weekend, such as this image of Belfast Cave Hill (by Brian McCalden), those hoping to send holiday postcards were worried over their travel arrangements.
News Image
While Belfast's airports are open, cancellations and delays are expected to continue - and City of Derry Airport was still closed this morning - with a review due later.

A further 10 to 15cms of snow has falled in some places, with freezing conditions making all roads hazardous.

A Roads Service spokesperson said: "Motorists are advised that, despite the treatment undertaken, driving conditions will be extremely hazardous across Northern Ireland this morning and they should exercise extreme caution on all roads when travelling."

Severe frost is expected to develop again tonight, with very icy conditions persisting over frozen and compacted snow and some freezing fog is likely in places again too as some train services were disrupted and bus services were "sticking to main roads", and some delays were expected on the express Goldline service.

Up to 500 schools were not expected to open on Monday due to the weather as well, with no thaw anticipated until Thursday at the earliest.

(BMcC/GK)

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