Sunday 4 December 2016

Motorists warn icy roads could 'linger until afternoon' as cold front settles in

Greg Harkin and David Kearns

Published 15/02/2016 | 02:30

Drivers have been warned to take care on icy roads
Drivers have been warned to take care on icy roads
A highland cow on the snow-clad hills of the Carron Valley in Stirling, Scotland, as snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures sweep the country. Photo: PA

Motorists should take extra care this morning as Met Éireann warns of severe frost and icy stretches are widespread following Sunday night’s cold snap.

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Temperatures fell to -5C in some areas overnight, and many areas would see a rise above freezing until closer to midday.

AA Roadwatch is advising drivers to expect frost and ice on many routes, and said that they should remember that stopping distances can be up to 10 times longer in ice conditions.

“A low temperature warning is in place for the whole country until midday, so expect frost and ice on many routes,” a spokesperson said.

Several county councils have deployed gritting lorries overnight on main routes after snow flurries where spotted in the hills and mountains around Dublin, Wicklow and Donegal yesterday.

There were also reports of snow in Carlow and in and around Mullingar, county Westmeath.

Met Éireann says this morning will be very cold and that the severe frost and icy stretches could possibly linger well into the afternoon.

The forecaster warned that while it will be bright and sunny in most parts, temperatures will struggle to reach 4C by this afternoon – adding that it will feel much colder due to strong north-easterly winds.

The frost will quickly set in again after dark as temperatures fall to lows of -1C. This will lead, especially over the eastern half of the country, to widespread frost and icy stretches on untreated surfaces earlier Tuesday morning.

Forecaster Gerry Murphy told Independent.ie that temperatures would briefly rise from tomorrow as a new weather system brings milder air from the south but this would be quickly followed by another bitterly cold night, leading to icy roads again on Wednesday morning.

"Colder, clearer weather will follow from the Atlantic later on Tuesday night, with scattered wintry showers and moderate southwest winds. There will be another sharp frost developing and icy stretches on untreated surfaces," he said.

Daytime temperatures throughout the week will struggle to reach 7C in the south and 4C elsewhere.

Credit: Met Éireann
Credit: Met Éireann

Both Wednesday and Thursday will be cold but bright days, with scattered showers - most of them in west Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

These will include hail or sleet and snow will be possible on hills.

Met Éireann said that early indications were that daytime temperatures will turn milder on Friday, although there will be spells of wet and windy weather for many parts of the country from time to time.

Night-time temperatures over next weekend will vary and may be low enough in places for some frost.

Meanwhile, some 10,000 customers of the Whitegate Regional Water Supply Scheme in Cork have been issued with a boil water notice by their provider on the advice of the HSE.

They have been advised to boil all water intended for consumption, food preparation, teeth brushing and making ice.

Irish Water said the notice "has been imposed as a precautionary measure pending further investigation in the interest of public health".

The warning applies to Midleton South East, Ballynacorra, Cloyne, Aghada, Whitegate, Ballycotton, Churchstown, Trabolgan and surrounding rural areas. Other areas and water schemes in the county are not affected at this point.

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