SNOW RELIEF AS BIG FREEZE CONTINUES

Derry motorists and Christmas shoppers were faced with more traffic chaos yesterday as the big freeze continued to grip the entire North West.

With no end to the sub zero temperatures

in sight over the coming days, more sleet

and snow showers are predicted for today

and the beginning of the week.

Yesterday, a Roads Service spokesperson

said snow was still affecting many roads.

"In addition, with temperatures sub-zero

across the province, there is also the risk of

widespread ice on roads," he said.

"Salting and ploughing has been ongoing

yesterday evening and overnight, and additional

treatment is underway this morning.

Private plough operators are also being

deployed to provide additional resources."

While City of Derry Airport re-opened

yesterday following overnight snowfall on

Friday, all flights suffered delays and some

were cancelled.

With a weather warning still in place,

the weather conditions are set to remain

treacherous for driving as the snow eases

later this week to be replaced by freezing

fog. Speaking to the Sunday Journal, Met

office forecaster Deirdre Lowe, warned

that, although Derry will see a reduction in

snow showers, freezing fog will remain and

temperatures will drop as low as -6 degrees

in some areas of the North West.

"It's not going to get much worse," she

said. "But the cold, cold weather will remain

and fog will make road conditions

very poor. It will be bitterly cold right up

until the end of the week with no sign of a

thaw in the run up to Christmas."

However Ms Lowe couldn't confirm if

Derry would have a white Christmas.

"It looks like it will be dry on Christmas

Day, but I couldn't be sure if it will be white

at this stage," she said.

Sunday will see the icy conditions continue.

Any freezing fog will gradually clear

during the morning. While many parts will

be dry, there will be some isolated snow

showers locally. Temperatures in the North

West are expected to range from -5 to +1

degrees.