Icy blast prompts severe weather warnings with snow in prospect up high and inland

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Yellow and Orange snow warnings are in place across Londonderry and Donegal with forecasters saying a cold, showery northerly airstream will cover Northern Ireland from 3pm on Thursday afternoon.

More temperate coastal areas of the North West may be spared the brunt of the cold blast but heavier snowfall is possible in higher inland parts.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for severe weather in Londonderry.

“Sleet and snow showers will become heavier and more frequent during Thursday afternoon, continuing overnight and well into Friday,” it says.

“These could bring accumulations of 1-4 cm at lower levels, with 5-10 cm on ground above 150 m, especially over northern areas.

“Icy stretches are also likely to form on untreated surfaces. Please be aware of some difficult driving conditions and the risk of travel disruption,” it adds.

Meanwhile, Met Éireann has issued an orange snow and ice warning for Donegal suggesting there could be snow accumulations of between 4 and 8 cm possible until midnight on Thursday.

Chief Forecaster with the Met office stated: “A cold, showery north to northwesterly airstream will cover Northern Ireland.

“The showers are expected to fall as sleet or snow away from immediate northern coasts. Shower activity will be enhanced at times by troughs of low pressure, which could allow several cm of snow to settle in a fairly short period.”