28/01/2015

Snow Warning Upgraded To Amber

The Met Office has upgraded its latest weather warning for Northern Ireland.

On Tuesday, the forecaster issued a 'yellow' alert for snow which is in place until 5pm today. This will then be replaced by an 'amber' alert as snow and icy conditions are expected to affect much of the region. Snow has already been falling in a number of areas and is expected to continue overnight and into Thursday. More than 5cm of snow is predicted to fall at lower levels, while on higher ground, more than 15cm is expected to accumulate. The addition of strong winds could also lead to drifting and blizzard-like conditions. A risk of ice and lightning are also being predicted.

Motorists have been warned to expect travel disruption and hazardous driving conditions. Northern Ireland Electricity has also warned of a possible disruption to the power supply.

The amber alert will remain in place until 11am on Thursday (29 January).

Tony Baker, the Met Office Meterologist currently attached with TransportNI, said: "The Met Office has issued an amber warning for snow valid from 5pm this evening through to 11am tomorrow. This means there is the potential for snow showers to cause disruption to rush hour traffic this evening and tomorrow morning.

"Snow showers will continue throughout the evening with the potential for 2-5cm in quite a few areas, with nearer 5-10cm in the worst hit areas where snow showers become frequent. The higher parts of the Sperrins and Antrim hills could see over 15 cm.

"Accumulations will slowly build-up overnight but as always, some places will see more snow than others, with some places inevitably seeing only small amounts. With gusty winds of 40-50mph around showers, some drifting of snow is likely at higher levels."

(JP/MH)

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