Published Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Sleet and snow could fall across parts of Northern Ireland by the weekend. (© Getty)
Northern Ireland is likely to escape the worst of the wintry conditions gripping the UK, but it will still be bitterly cold and wet - with the possibility of sleet or even snow by Friday.
"As the weather breaks down, an area of snow looks increasingly likely to spread from the southwest," Met Office forecasters said, amid the ongoing UK-wide amber alert.
"Winds will strengthen and blizzard conditions are likely, especially over high ground."
It is thought that 10-15cms of snow could fall in some parts, with up to 25cms over higher ground.
The snow is expected to be heaviest through Friday morning, slowly weakening and clearing east during the second half of the day.
Eddy Carroll, Met Office Chief Forecaster
The amber alert is the second highest used by the Met Office and means that people should be prepared for weather-related disruption and increased health risks to those most vulnerable.
For Northern Ireland, a lesser yellow alert warning of heavy rain and possible localised flooding has been put in place for all of Friday.
Temperatures aren't expected to actually drop below freezing in Northern Ireland towards the end of the week, but it will feel much colder and sleet or even snow could fall over higher ground.
"Rain during Friday will become heavy for many places and may turn to snow for a time over hills," forecasters said.
"Winds will be strong with gales over coasts and hills."
ENTER A LOCATION FOR 5 DAY FORECAST