The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning of snow and localised flooding for Northern Ireland this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Met Office forecasts:
'An area of rain and sleet moving from the south, will turn increasingly to snow as it does so. Towards some east coastal areas, heavy rain and sleet will perhaps remain more likely, with a risk of localised flooding, mainly in the east of Northern Ireland.
'However some heavy and persistent snowfall is likely to develop across many other areas, with in excess of 10 cm of snow in some inland parts, and perhaps much more than this over hills.
'Taking into account the strong to gale force winds, some atrocious conditions with drifting and blizzards are expected for many upland areas in particular, and it is increasingly likely that this warning will eventually be upgraded to Amber for parts of this region.
'This is an update of the warning issued on Tuesday, pulling the focus of the snow further south and west, in line with latest thoughts. The public should be aware of the likelihood of a spell of difficult and disruptive wintry weather, with impacts on travel and, perhaps, on power supplies.'
The Chief Forecaster's assessment states:
'Following a slightly quieter interlude midweek, an active frontal system will push northwards during Thursday, increasingly coming into contact with the block of unusually cold air in place across northern Britain, the North Sea and Scandinavia. Since yesterday, indications are that the front will grind to a halt further south, potentially affecting a broad swathe of central Britain from some 24 to 36 hours.
'During this period, a combination of strong winds and persistent snow looks like leading to some particularly wintry weather - especially for so late in the season.
'There remain some uncertainties at this stage in exactly where the worst of the snow will be, and in some low-lying areas the rain-snow balance is not yet clear-cut, which means that further refinements to the warning area are very likely.'