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'Cold snap is finished' but Storm Dennis on its way to wreak havoc

  • Status Yellow snow and ice warning in place until 10am
  • Reports of black ice and frost on Irish roads this morning
  • UK Met Office warns of 'danger to life' from Storm Dennis

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Oh deer, it’s cold: A small herd brave a blizzard in the Wicklow Gap. Photo: Garry O'Neill

Oh deer, it’s cold: A small herd brave a blizzard in the Wicklow Gap. Photo: Garry O'Neill

Oh deer, it’s cold: A small herd brave a blizzard in the Wicklow Gap. Photo: Garry O'Neill

Ireland is braced for Storm Dennis this weekend after bitterly cold weather and snow hit many parts of the country.

Met Éireann has urged the public to stay tuned for weather warning updates, after the UK Met Office advised Storm Dennis could pose a "danger to life".

There is currently a Status Yellow snow and ice warning in place nationwide until 10am today.

Met Eireann have said to expect some snowfall accumulations this morning, especially in the west and north of the country.

Gardai in Athy have reported slippery conditions with black ice on a number of routes, AA Roadwatch said.

Icy conditions have also been reported in parts of Cavan, Longford, Offaly, Galway and Clare, while snow showers are causing wet and slippery conditions in counties Wicklow, Laois, Kildare and Donegal.

While no official warning has been issued yet in Ireland, Jonathan McGovern, a meteorologist for Met Éireann, said it looked very likely the storm would wreak havoc across the State.

"We advise that people keep up with the warnings closer to Storm Dennis's arrival," he told the Irish Independent.

Met Éireann have warned that some disruption to travel is possible with widespread wintry showers and some snowfall accumulations. AA Roadwatch are urging motorists to take care while driving this morning, with reports of "especially slippery conditions" around parts of counties Cavan, Longford and Roscommon, particularly in Tulsk and Boyle, as well as south Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois, Meath, Dublin, Westmeath, Donegal, Leitrim, Galway and Kerry. "In affected areas, it will take much longer to stop a vehicle, so slow down and avoid any harsh acceleration or braking," a spokesperson said. There is a separate Status Yellow wind warning in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry until 8pm tonight. "Strong westerly winds continuing with mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h and gusts to 110km/h, highest in coastal areas," a forecaster said. "A combination of spring tides and high seas will result in a risk of coastal flooding, especially around high tide." Cold and wintry conditions are set to prevail before giving way later in the week to milder, but wet and windy, conditions.

"The UK Met office named Storm Dennis which will arrive on Saturday so for the next few days it's going to be largely unsettled with low pressure staying to the west affecting our weather.

Blustery

"On Saturday, and the weekend on the approach to Storm Dennis, it will be very wet and windy with rain bands associated with that storm passing between the afternoon and evening, with temperatures of 8C to 10C.

"Sunday will be another wet and blustery day with spells of rain."

Since Storm Brendan hit Ireland in early January, the country has seen the tail of two UK storms, Arctic conditions with snow brought in from Canada and extremely wet and windy weather has prevailed. Across the country this week, sporting events have been postponed and thousands of houses have lost power.

The country also saw a covering of snow in many areas.

Yesterday, children escaped injury when ferocious gusts ripped the roof off a school in Achill, Co Mayo, just minutes after they had begun their school day.

Up to 12 tonnes of the asphalt flat roof landed in the playground and a neighbouring field of Dooagh National School.

The incident happened yesterday amid a status yellow wind warning which has since ended.

The school lies along one of the most westerly coastal points of Achill and has just under 40 pupils.

While winds of this, and an even greater magnitude are likely this weekend, Mr McGovern said that the bitterly cold weather experienced this week would at least begin to subside.

"Showers today will be confined mostly to the north-west and it will clear later in the day towards the east," he said.

"These will ease off so it won't be as windy but they'll freshen up again later on in the week.

"Thursday looks like it will be mostly showery with rain across the country and blustery north north-west winds.

"It will be warmer though as the cold snap will be finished, with higher temperatures of 4C to 5C in the north and 9C to 10C in the south.

"However, it will still feel chilly with the wind.

"On Friday, these winds will strengthen again and a new band of rain will move in.

"Temperatures will be 9C to 12C."

Irish Independent