Kerry county snow patrol
THE county has shivered in the icy grip of winter over the last few days and the cold snap is expected to continue until Friday of this week.
Practically the whole of Co Kerry woke up to Alpine conditions on Monday morning and while aesthetically impressive the wintry conditions have caused disruptions and inconveniences, especially to motorists.
At least three or four inches of snow blanketed the south of the county in the early hours of Monday morning, with even greater falls on higher ground.
And, while much of the snow melted away in Monday and Tuesday's sunshine an even greater hazard, extremely icy surfaces, was visited upon motorists on Monday night and Tuesday due to temperatures that fell as low as -6.
Met Eireann is forecasting a vast improvement in temperatures, up to possibly eight degrees on Friday, when a band of rain is expected to push into Kerry before spreading eastwards across the country.
Between today ( Wednesday) and Friday, the weather is expected to remain very cold, with daytime temperatures struggling to get above zero and night-time values falling well below zero, perhaps as low as -5. The only consolation is that very little rain, sleet or snow will fall in the intervening period.
The snow and subsequent freezing temperatures caused extremely dangerous driving conditions all over the county, especially at the county bounds with Cork which featured on RTE news reports and the Killarney to Kenmare road near Moll's Gap which was closed to traffic.
Driving conditions were similarly hazardous in the Tralee, Dingle and North Kerry areas on Monday and Tuesday, with areas on higher ground worst affected, while snow ploughs were deployed on the main Castleisland to Limerick road near Abbeyfeale on Monday to clear the way for motorists.
Lyreacrompane was snowed under to a depth of four inches in places with temperatures hitting - 5 in the north Kerry area.
Listowel, however, escaped the worst of it with the county and town councils managing to keep all routes open in the town and its vicinity.
Kerry County Council gritters and salters were out from early on Tuesday morning and motorists have been advised to use extreme caution until the weather finally improves.
Killarney Town Council staff also gritted and salted surfaces in and around the town on Tuesday in advance of last night's sub-zero temperatures.
Local authorities have also called on home and business-owners in towns and villages to ensure that the footpaths outside their properties are swept clear of snow and slush.