Friday 15 December 2017

Get the fire ready – we're in for a cold weekend

Emma Jane Hade and Greg Harkin

STOCK up on supplies for the fire as the evenings are set to get a lot colder, with temperatures plummeting as low as freezing in some parts of the country tonight.

Met Eireann forecaster Eoin Sherlock says that areas of Ulster and Connacht will experience freezing temperatures late this evening, and that this is a trend that is set to continue over the weekend.

"Ulster and Connacht will have temperatures of zero to three degrees. For the rest of the country, for the minimum, you're talking six to eight degrees. Sunday night will see lows of two to five degrees everywhere," said Mr Sherlock.


Rain showers are set to sweep across the country for the whole weekend, and Monday night is set to bring about the coldest weather yet – with temperatures as low as minus-one to two degrees.

Mr Sherlock said it would remain "chilly enough" on Tuesday, and that there would be showers of hail, sleet and wet snow on higher grounds.

"It will be pretty cold at the start of the week, from Monday to Wednesday.

"It will be a little bit milder with the swinging around of the winds on Thursday and Friday," he said.

Despite forecasters assuring that Ireland will not be hit by the snow storms that are expected to arrive in Britain next week, a weather-predicting Donegal postman said that he was putting his money on a white Christmas.

"There are signs of a long cold snap ahead," said Michael Gallagher, who claims to be able to make long-range forecasts by studying nature in the hills of the Bluestack Mountains in Co Donegal.

The 57-year-old said this weekend's freezing weather was just a taste of what was to come next month. "I was driving home from work last week, and there was a strong orange glow coming from the sun and that is a really strong indicator that snow is on the way.

"The sheep are acting restless in the fields and the cattle are shaking.

"Years ago, I was told by the old people that those signs were very strong indicators that a heavy fall of snow was on the horizon.

"I'm very confident we'll have a white Christmas this year, although I don't expect it to be as bad as it was in 2011," he said.

Ireland was last hit by a harsh cold snap in 2011, which resulted in travel chaos and left thousands of homes without water.

...But Michael D knows how to stay warm

President Michael D Higgins made himself at home as he tested out the heat from a stove at a new housing project for the elderly.

In a busy day for Mr Higgins, he took time out to enjoy the warmth at the new Respond Housing project at Ard an Chaisleain, Liscarroll, Co Cork.

The development combines a new Liscarroll community childcare facility with 10 houses for older members of the community.

He then travelled to the nearby Donkey sanctuary facility to open a new walkway.

Earlier, Mr Higgins had helped the Christian Brothers College at Sidney Hill in Cork to celebrate their 125th anniversary.

The junior infants class lined out in their smart blazers, while the older students welcomed the president by waving flags and playing music.

He unveiled a sculpture to mark the milestone.

Irish Independent

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