News Weather

Friday 28 April 2017

Motorists warned to slow down as freezing wind and snow hits

The first winter blast is set to bite today

The heaviest snow would most likely fall over Ulster, Connacht, north Leinster and west Munster, as well as on high ground. Stock picture
The heaviest snow would most likely fall over Ulster, Connacht, north Leinster and west Munster, as well as on high ground. Stock picture

Catherine Devine and Allison Bray

Batten down the hatches as the first real blast of winter is set to strike tonight with strong winds, freezing temperatures and possibly sleet and snow.

Met Éireann has issued a status yellow warning that will come into effect at 6pm tonight and last until noon on Saturday.

The warning, affecting the whole country, says that "very cold wintry weather will develop [from tonight] onwards" with showers turning wintry in many places and "falls of sleet and snow expected".

AA Roadwatch are urging motorists to slow down as wind-blown debris is likely on secondary routes in particular.

They asked motorists to pay particular attention to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclist as the bad weather hits.

Forecaster Joan Blackburn said Met Éireann could not "categorically" say whether snow would blanket Dublin or other low-lying areas.

But the heaviest snow would most likely fall over Ulster, Connacht, north Leinster and west Munster, as well as on high ground, she said. However, she was not ruling out snow falling everywhere either.

"We're certainly going to see snow showers in the east and there will be plenty of wintry showers tomorrow," she told the Irish Independent.

Even low-lying parts of Cork and Kerry - along with mountainous areas - could be affected as a front passes to the south of Ireland, possibly bringing wet snow and sleet to south Munster.

Temperatures will start to plummet to between -1C and -2C by tonight and remain very cold tomorrow, with daytime highs of between just 1C and 4C.

Read more: Drivers warned to reduce speed and take care as Arctic chill to push mercury below -5C

The west and north-west will bear the brunt of the wintry showers tomorrow night with widespread frost and ice.

"There will be a strong wind that will make it feel much colder tomorrow," she said.

Friday will continue to be very cold with more showers of rain, hail, sleet and snow that will gradually taper off, affecting mostly western and northern coasts by Friday night.

Temperatures will improve slightly by Saturday with sunny spells forecast for the entire weekend, although rain will move in later on Sunday before it becomes milder on Monday.

But it could turn bitterly cold again by midweek next week as a Siberian cold front is expected to approach from the east.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Shane Ross last night urged people to be "winter ready" and "take all necessary precautions" when out and about.

"I would urge all people to heed the advice of the agencies and take all necessary precautions if out during the severe weather," he said. "If travelling, I would advise that you plan your route and check local information, allow extra time, drive slowly and stay safe."

He advised people to log on to www.winterready.ie.

Irish Independent

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