independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Video: Hang on tight - temperatures dip again as we remain in icy grip

Mairead Reddan & Katie Finn both from Kilmacanogue have fun in the snow in Kilmacanogue, Co. Wicklow. Photo: Collins

FREEZING conditions will continue today after much of the country was disrupted by snowfall.

Temperatures were last night expected to plummet as low as -6C as motorists were told to expect treacherous driving conditions due to continued ice and snow in some areas.

Heavy snow falls caused traffic chaos across Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Kerry, Cork and Limerick yesterday.

Worst hit was Kerry, where over 15cm of snow fell and the Conor Pass was left treacherous.

Roads were also impassable in parts of north Cork and south Limerick.

Met Eireann said low temperatures will continue until Friday, although it will become drier from tonight, with the worst of the snow showers now over.

"There will be a lot of clear skies at night so this will give rise to severe frosts. Slack winds will lead to freezing fog in places and there will be ice on untreated roads," Met Eireann's Siobhan Ryan said.

"Wednesday and Thursday will see a lot of dry weather and it will be cold, although bearable if you wrap up well. But it will be bitterly cold by night," she added.

Meanwhile, the Automobile Association said it had been flooded with calls from stranded motorists.

Between Friday and Sunday it dealt with over 1,000 motorists left stranded by floods, icy and snow-covered roads and even batteries that had failed.

Cancellations

Overseas travellers have also been urged to contact their airlines, given the disruption being caused across the UK and Europe.

Dozens of Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights were hit by delays or cancellations caused by the heavy snowfalls across much of the continent.

London airports remain the worst impacted, though cancellations and delays have also hit some French, German and Italian services.

Iarnrod Eireann services escaped major delays, with only minor problems due to frozen signalling points on the line in north Cork.

The weather was also blamed for isolated power cuts to homes in the Whitechurch, Bantry and Castletownbere areas of Cork. After snow fell on high ground over the weekend, it hit most of the country yesterday causing a series of localised problems.

East

The capital experienced a flurry of snow showers, and a light dusting in the Phoenix Park, but no major falls in the city. However, driving conditions were hazardous in the Dublin Mountains around Glencullen, Ticknock and Kilternan.

It was a similar picture in the Wicklow Mountains, where motorists were advised to avoid both the Wicklow and the Sally Gaps.

North- west

The north-west managed to escape the harshest of the bitter winter weather, with just a few sleet showers across north Donegal at teatime.

But with temperatures falling, county council staff in Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal spent the night gritting main routes.

South- west

Heavy snowfall caused havoc for motorists and disruption for schools in parts of the south-west with more snow expected.

Motorists were forced to abandon their cars on the Castleisland bypass in Co Kerry, and at Leith outside Tralee, where up to six inches of snow fell.

It even upset the workings of a circuit court sitting in Tralee, delaying it for one hour.

Schools were also disrupted, with several buildings around the south-west remaining closed as the bad weather continued.

South:

More than 10cm of snow fell on high ground in north Cork which left some roads impassable.

Up to six minor accidents were reported in less than 30 minutes along the route between Macroom and Ballyvourney.

Delays were also experienced by some flights operating from Cork Airport, with Aer Lingus cancelling their Paris-Cork service.

West:

West Limerick bore the brunt of the weather chaos with roads particularly dangerous in Templeglantine, where the local primary school had to close for the day.

Snow and ice also hit rural areas of Rockhill, Bruree and areas around the Galtee Mountains, where roads were reported to be particularly treacherous.

Galway, Mayo and Roscommon again avoided the worst of the freezing weather, though motorists were warned to be careful of black ice, particularly on higher ground.

Midlands

The region avoided the worst of the cold weather conditions but ice remains a major concern in may areas, particularly on higher ground.

There is also a risk of freezing fog in some areas and drivers have been urged to slow down and, if possible, to try and stick to treated primary roads.

Irish Independent

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