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Batten down the hatches: Get ready for gales, rain and…. SNOW!

Co Armagh is gearing up for the arrival of the much publicised Storm Barney – and there is a warning that severe gales could cause structural damage and lead to potentially hazardous conditions on the road.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, we could – if forecasters are correct – be looking at our first substantial snowfalls come the weekend.

It’s very much all seasons in a matter of days.

But the Met Office has already put in place weather warnings across County Armagh and right around the Province as Storm Barney prepares to do his worst!

Winds are already picking up out there but will intensify tomorrow.

Gusts of between 50mph and 60mph can be expected and these could hit 70mph and above around the north coast.

The weather warning comes into force from noon tomorrow (Wednesday) and lasts through until 3am on Thursday.

The Met Office warns that heavy blustery showers or some prolonged outbreaks of rain could also lead to surface water flooding on roads.

Emergency flooding payments have already been put in place this week by Environment Minister Mark H Durkan after severe scenes in some parts, particularly around Omagh and Strabane.

Flooding could become more widespread this time around.

And, while winds will ease on Thursday, the days that follow will see temperatures drop and wintry showers are expected.

Snow could arrive as early as Friday and has been forecast to spread across most of the Province going into Saturday.

Some weather experts are predicting that we could be hit with heavy snow and blizzards and many lower levels could see a substantial fall.

The only certainty we can have about the weather this week is that summer – what there was of it – will be but a distant memory!

The Met Office is of course warning people to be wise to the conditions and act appropriately.

“Be aware of difficult driving conditions and the risk of some minor travel disruption on roads and to ferries,” it reports.

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