Blizzards blow over but bitter cold and high winds to stay
Published 06/02/2013 | 04:00
SIBERIAN weather conditions caused travel misery nationwide with sleet and snow blizzards matched by temperatures that sank to a low of -3C.
The Arctic snap left most of Ireland under a thick blanket of snow with the heaviest falls hitting north Munster, the midlands and the north east.
Road conditions were treacherous for morning commuters with jack-knifed trucks reported in Louth, Meath, Cork, Laois and Wicklow.
Met Eireann warned that while the worst of the snow falls are over, temperatures will remain bitterly cold for the next 48 hours.
Dry, sunny conditions today will be replaced from tomorrow with rain and heavy drizzle from the Atlantic.
High winds are also forecast for parts of the western seaboard.
Drivers were warned to expect treacherous road conditions again today due to black ice, high winds and snow.
Southern, eastern and northern counties bore the brunt of the weather with disruption to road and rail services.
Heavy snow falls were reported in Wicklow, Louth, Meath, Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois and Offaly.
Snow falls in the Dublin Mountains were so heavy that Dublin Bus was forced to cancel services to Glencullen.
Delays were caused to some Iarnrod Eireann services due to frozen points.
Icy conditions were also blamed for an accident in Tipperary that left a 19-year-old man in a serious condition.
Heavy sleet reduced visibility to near zero on the N25 Cork-Waterford road at Lemybrien.
Snow and ice left Slane in Co Meath impassable for a time, while gardai faced three accidents in just 30 minutes on the Limerick-Galway road before 10am.
Trains travelling between Galway and Heuston Station in Dublin were delayed for 30 minutes in Athlone as Iarnrod Eireann staff dealt with frozen points.
Early morning traffic was also delayed in Longford. A car skidded off the M6 Dublin-Galway motorway on the Roscommon side of Athlone.
Westmeath gardai described driving conditions as "treacherous".
Portlaoise gardai said there was a minor accident on the Killenure Bridge on the Portarlington to Monasterevin Road.
The majority of the roads in Laois were clear by midday.
Snow and sleet led to several road accidents across the region.
Road conditions were said to be very icy on the M7 Limerick-to-Dublin motorway and gardai also had to contend with a collision northbound at Birdhill, Co Tipperary.
In Clare, officers were also called to two separate collisions on the M18 motorway. The first occurred near the Crusheen exit while the second happened at the turn off for Dromoland.
Slush and snow caused problems for motorists in some parts of Limerick.
Up to 10cm of snow fell overnight in parts of north Cork.
Ice was blamed for several minor collisions in Dunkettle and Silversprings that caused delays for morning commuters.
However, worst-hit were secondary roads around Kanturk, Charleville, Boherbue and Rockchapel.
The icy conditions have also created a headache through damaged road surfaces with major pothole problems reported in Buttevant, Cobh, Glenville and Bantry.
Commuters in Louth, Meath and Westmeath were severely hit by snow and ice, which resulted in some roads having to be closed.
A number of minor accidents were reported across Louth due to blizzards that reduced visibility to less than 10 metres.
Secondary roads were extremely difficult in Cavan, with drivers urged to exercise extreme caution as melted snow may freeze overnight.
Kilkenny and west Waterford bore the brunt of the ice and snow with sleet making driving conditions particularly hazardous along the N25 Waterford-Cork road.
Gardai said conditions were poor at both Lemybrien and the Sweep.
Black ice was reported to be a significant problem near Lismore and Ballyduff.
Ice also left many secondary roads in north Kilkenny treacherous.
Overnight hail and snow caused chaos on many roads.
There were 5km tailbacks on main routes into Letterkenny during the morning rush hour, not helped by the cancellation of several school bus services.
High winds and lightning strikes later in the day led to the closure of the Harry Blaney Bridge in Fanad.
The west escaped the brunt of the bad weather.
While there were some snow fall and patches of black ice in the morning, they quickly dissipated as the rain returned.
Today promises some sunny spells with temperatures rising to between five and eight degrees.