Snow and ice are set to hit parts of the country

The Environment Agency said that severe flooding is expected to continue.

PA Reporter
Thursday 24 February 2022 17:52 GMT
Snowy conditions at Castle Coole in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh as the county was covered by an overnight snow fall. Picture date: Thursday February 24, 2022.
Snowy conditions at Castle Coole in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh as the county was covered by an overnight snow fall. Picture date: Thursday February 24, 2022. (PA Wire)

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Snow and ice are set to hit parts of the country as forecasters warn that unsettled weather is set to stick around for up to five days.

A yellow weather warning for ice has been issued across Northern Ireland from Thursday evening through to Friday morning while people have been told to brace themselves for snow and ice across Scotland and northwest England through the same period.

Sleet or snow showers may hit higher ground in Northern Ireland while temperatures may drop towards freezing in places, leaving people to possibly have to face icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

In Scotland and northwest England, the he Met Office said that rain, sleet and hail, with snow may hit areas that are above around 200-300 metres on Thursday and may bring 2-5 cm of snow to higher routes across the Pennines and Scotland.

Police Scotland said that conditions for travel may be “hazardous” and urged people to take “extra caution” as the forecaster warned that falling temperatures on Friday could bring widespread icy stretches, especially on untreated surfaces.

Rangers have urged fans to allow extra time to travel to the clash with Borussia Dortmund at Ibrox amid the Met Office weather warnings.

In a statement to its supporters attending Thursday’s sold-out Europa League match, Rangers said: “Due to weather conditions potentially affecting travel times supporters are advised to allow extra time to travel to Ibrox this evening.”

It comes after motorists have been facing difficult driving conditions and schools have been shut in some Scottish areas as snow fell in many parts of the country, amid warnings of lightning strikes.

Schools were also forced to close and travellers faced disruption on Thursday after much of Northern Ireland was blanketed by overnight snow.

Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry and Antrim were worst hit by the wintry conditions.

People in Belfast also faced snowy scenes on Thursday morning.

The Met Office said the unsettled blustery weather will stay around over the next four or five days, especially in the northwest, although conditions are not expected to be as severe as during the past week.

Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “A cold front, followed by cold arctic Canadian air, has now pushed south across the country and has brought a spell of windy, showery and cold weather.

“Northern Ireland, Scotland, and parts of northern England will see some further snowfall, chiefly on hills through the rest of today and in places tonight.

“Gusty winds mean blizzards are possible on higher routes and national severe weather warnings are in place.

“A ridge of high pressure builds on Friday resulting in a fine, bright day for most. However, the winds pick up again as we head into the weekend with weather fronts bringing rain to the north and west and milder air spreads back in here.”

The last week has seen storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin cause problems across the country and about 400 properties have been flooded.

A severe flood warning is in force for the River Severn at Wribbenhall, Bewdley, where temporary flood defences were breached following heavy rainfall on Tuesday afternoon.

Search and rescue teams have checked on residents in Bewdley, in Worcestershire, where floodwater from the River Severn has breached the town’s flood defences (Joe Giddens/PA)
Search and rescue teams have checked on residents in Bewdley, in Worcestershire, where floodwater from the River Severn has breached the town’s flood defences (Joe Giddens/PA) (PA Wire)

The River Severn peaked in the town on Wednesday afternoon but levels are expected to remain high for a prolonged period and a severe flood warning, meaning a danger to life, is still in place.

The Environment Agency said that severe flooding is expected to continue and “strongly recommended” that residents evacuate from behind the defences due to the risk and take action to implement their emergency flood plans as severe flooding to homes and main roads were expected to continue.

The Environment Agency Midlands said teams were out at the River Severn in Tewkesbury where they are monitoring the river level as it moves down to Gloucester.

The Environment Agency had 32 flood warnings and 30 flood alerts in place on Thursday afternoon.

The Met Office said that a number of weather fronts are set to cross northern parts of the country and bring bouts of wet and windy weather while southern and eastern areas are in line for the best of the fine weather over the weekend.

It described  the  jet stream, which has been driving storm systems across the North Atlantic Ocean in recent weeks, as still being very active but these winds are shifting further north and may allow for more settled weather to arrive next week.

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