BRRRRRR…TEMPS TO FALL OVERNIGHT AS SNOW CAUSES TRAFFIC SNARL-UPS

Brrrrra Best...BBC Newsline weather preseting live in the snow

Brrrrra Best…BBC Newsline weatherman presenting live in the snow on Friday

SNOW is still falling heavily and is now lying thick in many places across Northern Ireland.

Around 2,400 home in parts of Co Down are still without power on Friday night.

NIE said engineers were still working to fix the problem and return power to affected homes.

Earlier on Friday evening, motorists heading home in rush hour traffic were advised by police to slow down and take extra care.

Police also say that if the journey is not necessary then stay at home.

There weree reports of heavy traffic congestion in the Ravenhill and Ormeau Road directions, with drivers saying they have been stuck for an hour or more.

The Glenshane Pass is now said to be closed and will not re-open until Saturday morning.

There have already been a number of accidents, including one on the Manse Road in Glengormley.

Traffic was heavy earlier in the Glengormley and motorists were advised to take care, use an alternative route or stay at home!

'Spot The Dog' in the snow?

‘Spot The Dog’ in the snow?

The Rathfriland Road in Dromore, Co Dow has been closed due to an overturned lorry. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

The adverse weather conditions have already hit flights out of Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport.

The International Airport said a flight to Bristol had been cancelled and all other departures to the rest of the UK were running with slight delays.

Some flights from Belfast City Airport have also been cancelled or delayed.

The 12.10pm from the City to London Heathrow was also cancelled.

The Met Office warning of an amber alert, the second highest level, remains in force.

Police have warned of poor driving conditions on the A1 from Lisburn to Hillsborough. They advise drivers to reduce speed and used dipped headlights.

The forecast for Friday is a mixture of rain, sleet and snow but the snow was unlikely to lie as the temparature was not cold enough.

Penguins feelling right at home in Belfast Zoo

Penguins feelling right at home in Belfast Zoo

Saturday is expected to be very cold with overnight snow lying in places.

However, the snow was expected to ease off over the weekend but the weather would remain very cold and potentially very icy.

There are reports of snow in Derrylin, County Fermanagh; Spelga Dam, and Kilcoo, County Down.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said that gritters were on standby to deal with bad weather.

He said that since October, more than 300 staff and over 130 gritters have been salting main roads during the cold spells.

“We are now half-way through the winter period and would expect further icy conditions and snow before the end of March.

“During spells of prolonged snow, all gritters will be fitted with snow ploughs and efforts directed to clearing snow from motorways and the trunk roads, before moving to other main roads and the busiest urban link roads.”

He added that the operation will continue until all roads were cleared, but warned “this may take some time, even with all resources deployed”.

Snow lying thick on the ground in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

Snow lying thick on the ground in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim

In very deep snow, Roads Service will use its nine snow blowers, the latest of which can shift 1,600 tonnes of snow an hour.

 

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