It’s time to break out the de-icer and the heavy duvet after the first snow of the winter fell in Northern Ireland and forecasters issued a cold weather alert for the UK.
torm force winds and driving sleet battered high ground and sea coasts as the province shivered yesterday in the wake of the coldest night of autumn/winter so far, with -9.6C (14.72F) recorded at Altnaharra, Sutherland, in the Highlands,
The cold snap has been caused by Arctic air moving south over the British Isle, forecasters said.
Today is set to be a mainly dry and bright day with some sunshine, the UK Met Office said .
There will also be a few light showers, mostly around the coasts, and the northerly winds will ease.
Today’s maximum temperature will be a nippy 7 °C.
For Sunday and Monday, the forecast is mainly dry days with perhaps the odd shower.
Overnight frosts and freezing fog patches are also expected by Met Office experts in the coming days.
Some Scottish residents got an unusual wake-up call overnight and alerted police to explosions but what they were actually hearing was a natural phenomenon known as “thundersnow”.
This is the rare combination of thunderstorms formed in wintry conditions that bring heavy downpours of snow along with thunder and lightning.
Met Office meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said: “December has got off to a much colder start than last month, with widespread low temperatures bringing the risk of frost, ice and wintry weather across the country.
“With temperatures generally limited to between 4 to 7 °C by day and falling widely below freezing overnight, a cold weather alert has been issued covering much of northern England and will remain in place until at least Tuesday.”