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Met Office respond to reports Northern Ireland will be battered by ‘Beast from the East’ bringing snow and icy weather

There is less than a 1% chance of a significant snowfall in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks, the Met Office has said.

hile there may be some colder conditions and the potential for snow in eastern parts of England and Scotland as we move into December, for those on this side of the Irish Sea any chance of significant wintery conditions are extremely unlikely forecasters suggested.

It follows some reports which suggested the UK was set to be battered by a so-called “Beast from the East” in the coming weeks which would bring up to four inches of snow as the country heads into December.

The Met Office describe the phrase as “cold and wintry conditions in the UK as a result of a polar continental air mass”.

Craig Snell a meteorologist with the Met Office said the rest of the month in Northern Ireland will remain unsettled and there is little sign of snow.

“Low pressure is generally going to remain close by over the rest of the month. Generally, it will remain unsettled and wet and windy, with temperatures generally hovering around where they should be,” he said.

“As we go into December, naturally temperatures will begin to fall away as is usual when we go into the winter months.

“It should kind of get colder. There are no strong signals of anything majorly winterly on the way.

“There are hints on some of the models about high pressure. But it will probably make things colder but drier if anything.

“As we go into winter, the chances of seeing snow will increase but especially for yourselves in Northern Ireland, if that scenario did come off which I would put a less than 1% chance, it probably still wouldn’t have much of an effect.

“Anything coming across would mainly affect the eastern coast of Scotland and England.

“The reports of significant snowfall are a little bit too keen.”

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for Northern Ireland on Thursday.

The national forecaster warned of strong winds between 8am and 2pm, and said residents across NI should expect some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport.

Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges are also likely.

Some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will also be affected by spray and/or large waves.

Earlier heavy rain fell in parts of counties Antrim, Armagh and Down.

A road traffic collision on the A1 southbound caused a closure between the Halfway Road and Kilmacure Road junctions on Wednesday morning. Whilst the vehicles were soon removed the road took longer to reopen due to excess amounts of surface water.

It comes after almost a quarter of the average monthly rainfall for November fell in less than half a day in parts of Northern Ireland on Monday.

At least 30.4mm was recorded in the city of Armagh by 3pm, just nine hours after heavy downpours began.

In Glenanne, 28.4mm of rain had fallen at the same time.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill described it as “a substantial amount” and warned more is on the way.

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