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THE COLD WAR; Ulster set to shiver in -4C as ice blast forecast; Passengers row with airline staff amid chaos.

Byline: ADAM ASPINALL

MOTORISTS face deadly black ice on the roads today as sub-zero temperatures bring travel chaos.

Last night was set to be the coldest night of the year with parts of Scotland expected to plunge below -13C.

Northern Ireland also has a countrywide yellow warning for ice and snow which is in place from midnight until 9am today.

The Met Office said temperatures fell to as low as -4.5C in Katesbridge, Co Down, in the early hours of yesterday - however - before dawn this morning could be much colder.

Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts added: "The wet surfaces - which are rain or snow - are likely to freeze overnight. There is a separate ice warning for parts of Northern Ireland, and the north and west of Scotland, mainly for showers falling on to sub-zero roads, so there is a reasonably widespread risk of ice overnight.

It will "It will be treacherous on roads that have not been treated or were treated but showers have washed salt away."

Gritting teams will be working around the clock across all of Northern Ireland's road network.

But drivers were warned that side roads and most residential streets will not be gritted and could be risky.

AA president Edmund King said: "Even with main roads clear and well-treated, communities and neighbourhoods off those main roads have been t struggling with icy conditions because their minor and residential roads are not as well gritted, if at all.

"Sadly, this has become the winter norm. Snow at the start of the day has been a nasty feature of the cold spell this Christmas but snow adds a new level of difficulty.

"Normally, we expect drivers to have got into winter mode by now but snow on ice can catch out even the wary and those who think their vehicles can handle any conditions."

Meanwhile, some 100 passenger remained stranded at Stansted Airport yesterday morning after snow showers in the early hours led to rows with airline staff. They had all been dealt with by yesterday evening and the airport said things were "back to normal".

A spokesman added: "Flights are operating on schedule and any passengers who were unable to return home after their flight was cancelled yesterday have been re-booked on to other flights."

The weather is expected to improve over the weekend but there will be more rain and hill snow for Northern Ireland and much of Scotland.

It will be cold with blustery, westerly winds in the north but much milder in the south with early spells of rain and spells of sunshine.

adam.aspinall@mirror.co.uk

It will be treacherous on roads that have not been treated HELEN ROBERTS MET OFFICE FORECASTER

CAPTION(S):

AIRPORTS Passengers stranded by weather

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UP THE CHILL Dog walker scales the Malvern Hills

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 29, 2017
Words:481
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