Northern Ireland braces for cold snap which could bring widespread disruption

Northern Ireland is bracing for a cold snap with sleet and snow which could bring widespread disruption including the possibility of school closures.

Road workers are also engaged in industrial action and the Department of Infrastructure is urging people to take extra care as roads which are usually treated may not be over the coming days.

Gritting has already begun on high ground, while motorways, the A1 and the A4 will be treated as usual.

UTV weather presenter and meteorologist Aisling Creevey said the weather moving in is of the type for people to consider their plans.

"It's worth thinking about changing them, or at least preparing yourself for disruption to your day," she says.

"That disruption could be anything from getting stuck in snow to being stuck because there may be some road accidents and remembering that it is going to be bitterly cold and damp tomorrow so staying warm is important."

The weather system will bring a "messy mix of rain, sleet and snow" at sea level.

"Any communities higher than this, are more likely to see a combination of sleet and snow where snow will likely start to settle," Aisling said.

"The system will clear at some point through Friday morning but ice will continue to be a risk for the next few days as temperatures struggle to come up.

"This is the current thinking on where the weather system will be by Thursday at noon. So many northern counties starting off dry and cold but eventually seeing it turn very unsettled.

"It is quite possible the far north of Antrim and Londonderry won't actually see any snow until tomorrow evening.

"In these types of situations the general rule of thumb is to allow a 20-50 mile margin of error."

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