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Heavy rain: Further yellow warning issued for counties Down and Antrim

Butterfly statue covered in snow
Snow falls on Dungannon Park in County Tyrone on Thursday [BBC]

A heavy rain warning is in force for counties Antrim and Down on Thursday until Good Friday.

A first warning for those counties ended on Wednesday at lunchtime after heavy rain flooded fields and caused some disruption on the roads.

The new warning is in place from Thursday at 04:00 GMT until Friday at 03:00 GMT.

There are also reports of sleet and snow in parts of counties Down, Armagh, and Tyrone.

Most wintry weather today is expected over higher ground with a few flurries to lower levels.

Some places, like the Antrim hills, will potentially see up to 40mm of rain.

This rain will fall onto already very saturated ground, which could increase the likelihood of flooding and disruption.

The air is cold and some of the heavier bursts of rain will have sleet and snow mixed in.

In Ballycastle in County Antrim, heavy rain has caused a landslide on the Carrickmore Road on the coast, which is now blocked.

A spokesperson from the Department for Infrastructure said: "The road will remain closed while the Department assesses the extent of the damage and the necessary repairs can be carried out.

"At this time it is not possible to advise when this section of the road will reopen."

Rainfall is measured at stations around Northern Ireland.

Stormont is poised to have its wettest March on record.

Until 11:00 on Thursday, the weather station there had recorded 140mm of rain, just shy of the 141mm in 2019, with more rain yet to come.

Records began at the station in 1961.

Ballypatrick, in the Antrim Glens, has an average March rainfall of 97.1mm.

Until 11:00 on Thursday it had 195mm, which is almost double its average.

This makes it the second wettest March on record so far at that station.

The wettest was 212.4mm in 2008, although records only go back to 1989 at that station.

Police advised road users to take care "given the levels of surface water in various parts of Northern Ireland".

They also urged motorists intending to travel on the Mountain Road areas around Spelga in the Mournes to take extra caution.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) said there were difficult driving conditions, travel delays and possible flooding on Thursday.

Scene on the Glenariffe Road in County Antrim
Soil and water caused problems on the Glenariffe Road in County Antrim [BBC]

The department advised of a road slip in County Antrim on the Glenariffe Road close to the junction of Glasmullen Road, making the route impassable.

On Wednesday the department also said they had received reports of a fallen tree on the A28 Derrycourtney Road close to the Curlagh Road junction in County Tyrone.

The DfI also advised of heavy traffic in several areas of greater Belfast on Wednesday morning.