NW escapes worst of Abigail, but further storms expected

A ship is guided into the Foyle this morning (Friday) as storm clouds gather overhead.

A ship is guided into the Foyle this morning (Friday) as storm clouds gather overhead.

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The north west has escaped the worst of Storm Abigail but a warning remains in force over further hail showers and thunderstorms for the next 24 hours.

Ireland’s weather experts Met Eireann have now changed yesterday’s Status Orange alert to Status Yellow after Abigail swept further north last night and slammed into the western coast of Scotland last night after just brushing the Donegal coastal fringes.

Locally though, as predicted, the first snows of winter 2015 arrived in its wake over the hills of Inishowen and County Derry, along with hailstone showers across Derry city and region. Met Eireann and the Met Office in the UK have predicted that the bad weather for Derry and Donegal as well as some other parts of Ireland will continue during today.

The former has warned that temperatures will stay low with the risk if thunder.

They have forecast; “Some of the showers will be heavy and of hail. Later in the evening, showers will become confined to western and northern counties.

“Strong and gusty, westerly winds will continue throughout the day, with temperatures falling back on recent days.”

The first snows of winter arrive on the mountains of Inishowen overnight.

The first snows of winter arrive on the mountains of Inishowen overnight.

For tonight, Met Eireann has forecast further rain sweeping in from the Atlantic and temperatures falling further back to between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius.

Cold and windy with frequent showers on Friday.

The Met Office in the UK meanwhile has predicted that the rest of today will remain “chilly with frequent showers” and the chance of gale-force winds on coastal areas.

The Met Office has forecast: “A chance of hail and thunder with some temporary snow over the hills. Strengthening westerly winds these reaching gale force along the North Coast and over hills.

“Clear intervals and blustery showers this evening with strong westerly winds, gales at first in north.”