Friday 30 September 2016

Can Bitterly cold weather expected as temperatures to sink to as low as -3C

Published 09/02/2016 | 02:30

The Poolbeg lighthouse in Dublin is battered by heavy seas in the wake of Storm Imogen. Photo: Collins
The Poolbeg lighthouse in Dublin is battered by heavy seas in the wake of Storm Imogen. Photo: Collins
This road in the Rahona area of the Loophead Peninsula was impassable due to flooding related to Storm Imogen. Photo: Noel Gavin/Press 22

TEMPERATURES are expected to plummet across the country over the coming days with commuters warned to expect severe frost tomorrow morning.

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The recent Atlantic gales are set to be replaced by frost, ice and snow showers with warnings of black ice in many areas.

Motorists have been warned by both the Gardai and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to exercise extreme caution when driving – particularly along inland areas and on higher ground – given the risk of ice on many already water-logged roads.

Temperatures may sink to as low as -3C, with some areas also experiencing snow showers.

However, while snow and sleet will turn to heavy rain showers in some western areas, it will generally be dry, bright but very cold for most of Ireland.

Met Eireann warned that it will remain bitterly cold into next week with the next four or five days marked by frost and icy patches.

Milder temperatures are unlikely to return until next Monday.

Meanwhile, the clean-up continued yesterday after Storm Imogen, with ESB repair crews focusing on damaged power lines in Cork and Kerry.

More than 5,000 families and businesses were left without power due to damaged lines at the height of the storm.

An ESB repair crew had to be brought to Cape Clear island, off west Cork, by helicopter yesterday, after a ferry was effectively trapped in the harbour.

Cape Clear’s new harbour storm gates – installed in July 2015 – could not be opened after Storm Imogen hit local power supplies.

Both the main power supply for the storm gates and a back-up support system were left inoperable.

Winds of 196kph were recorded at the Fastnet Rock at the height of Storm Imogen.

Storm Imogen left a trail of destruction across Ireland earlier today.

Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Clare bore the brunt of Imogen's fury with the combination of torrential rainfall and high tides resulting in flooding in Limerick city.

Limerick City and County Council said its outdoor staff and emergency crews responded immediately to help stricken homeowners after the second highest tide on record.

In Limerick city, flooding hit Longpavement, Condell Road, St Ita's Street in St Mary's Park, Corbally Road, O'Dywer's Villas in Thomondgate, Verdant Place, O'Callaghan Strand, Clancy Strand, Merchant's Quay and George's Quay.

Seven homes were flooded in Corbally and Askeaton.

Flooding also occurred along the Shannon Estuary in rural Limerick at Glin, Askeaton and Foynes as a result of a high tide of 5.2m accompanied by a higher than forecast storm surge of 1.5m.

Imogen reached her full fury off the south-west coast with the Fastnet Rock, off west Cork, reporting an incredible hurricane-force wind gust of 106 knots or 196kmh (122mph).

However, inland areas reported winds which gusted for several hours to between 80kmh and 120kmh.

These gusts brought down trees across Cork and Kerry, resulting in traffic misery for commuters.

Cork managed to avoid a third outbreak of damaging floods in 10 weeks though there was spot-flooding of some secondary roads.

Bandon Civic Amenity site had to close for public safety reasons given the gusts.

In Cork, the storm brought down power lines in Douglas, Inniscarra, Bandon and Kibrittain.

Roads were temporarily blocked by fallen trees between Clonakilty-Bandon, Kilbrittain-Bandon, Inniscarra-Lee Road and Douglas-Shamrock Lawn.

In Clare, giant waves caused damage to quay walls in Kilkee.

Damage was also caused at Doolin and Lahinch with coastal flooding warnings last night over another predicted storm surge at high tide.

In Kerry, fallen trees were reported on the Kenmare- Kilgarvan, Kenmare-Sneem and Kenmare-Lauragh roads.

Spot flooding was also reported at Ardfert, Ballyheigue, Camp and Kilflynn with the Bellheight Road outside Kenmare impassable for much of yesterday.

Met Éireann warned that showers, some very heavy, will persist today before sunny spells begin to emerge from tomorrow.

However, the dry weather will also be marked by a significant drop in temperatures with frost and ice likely from the early hours of Thursday.

Irish Independent

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