Monday 16 July 2018

'Avalanche' warnings in Wicklow after Ireland dodges wintry blast of 'Pest from the West'

Cold weather conditions on the Wicklow Mountains. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Cold weather conditions on the Wicklow Mountains. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Ian Begley

The public has been warned to expect a series of avalanches in the Wicklow Mountains.

As the snowfall from Storm Emma continues to wreak havoc in communities on higher grounds, a new and unusual hazard has come into play. According to the Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team, overhanging shelves of snow on the crest of mountains have built up during the storm.

Spokesperson John Kavanagh told the Irish Independent that if these 'snow cornices' break off they can trigger avalanches.

"Over the last week, snow has built up on the western and southern side of the Wicklow Mountains from the wind blowing from the east.

"My gut feeling is that there will be avalanches in various locations when these cornices break off, but there will probably be no one around when they do."

Mr Kavanagh added that the rescue team's biggest concern is snow tourists.

People sledding in Woolton in Liverpool as weather warnings of snow and ice are in effect for many parts of Britain. Photo: PA
People sledding in Woolton in Liverpool as weather warnings of snow and ice are in effect for many parts of Britain. Photo: PA

"They do unfortunately cause a lot of problems, but thankfully we don't have many people skiing in isolated locations like these.

"The avalanches will most likely occur on high mountains with steep slopes like the South Prison in Lugnaquilla."

Meanwhile, Ireland avoided a second major snowfall in the space of a week as parts of Britain were hit with severe weather conditions.

We can now finally look forward to more spring-like conditions in the coming days although it will remain very cold at night.

Northern England and parts of Wales saw significant snowfall yesterday, only days after the 'Beast from the East' and Storm Emma wreaked havoc. A weather front dubbed the 'Pest from the West' saw several inches of snow fall in Yorkshire.

Flights and public transport were affected in the region.

But Ireland has avoided the new onset of wintry conditions and can look forward to some above-average temperatures over the weekend, with a mild Saturday forecast.

Irish Independent

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