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Sunday 18 November 2018

Ireland facing heavier snowfalls thanks to climate change

Met Eireann’s Evelyn Cusack. Picture: Frank McGrath
Met Eireann’s Evelyn Cusack. Picture: Frank McGrath

Ryan Nugent

Ireland can expect more heavy snow during the winter with climate change having an effect, according to Met Éireann's Evelyn Cusack.

Ms Cusack was speaking following the launch of the Government's 'Be Winter Ready' initiative.

Despite saying adverse weather conditions take place irrespective of climate change, Met Éireann's head of forecasting explained that heavier snow could be anticipated in the coming years.

"There is a chance of more snow even though the climate is warming up and that's because there's more moisture in the atmosphere," Ms Cusack said.

"There's more evaporation because of the higher sea temperatures and then in winter, instead of rain, it turns to snow. So in fact, snow events could be heavier."

Ms Cusack said because of the different weather conditions experienced in the past 12 months, she expects the public to take real notice this year.

"The message is prepare yourself for all eventualities and listen out for the warnings and the local forecasts as well," she said.

Asked if there was a fatigue from weather warnings due to the number of them issued, Ms Cusack said: "There is an idea of warning fatigue or yellow warning fatigue, but we only issue warnings when there are specific issues around."

As part of the 'Be Winter Ready' initiative, 258,000 tonnes of salt will be made available.

Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring said the uptake in a senior alert alarm scheme has increased by 122pc on last year.

"This community-led scheme enables people over 65 to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind," he said.

"There is a steep increase in personal alarms being triggered during the winter months when older people feel particularly vulnerable."

Irish Independent

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