Ireland to experience freezing temperatures but miss the worst of the Arctic conditions
IRELAND looks set to escape the Arctic conditions that have besieged most of Britain in the past week and led to travel chaos there.
But there will be more cold and damp weather this week, with forecasters predicting temperatures as low as -6C.
Rain has poured down on most of the east coast in the last four days and led to dangerous driving conditions.
Today's race meeting in Fairyhouse, Co Meath has now been cancelled and Leopardstown Racecourse reported 66mm of rain yesterday.
Met Eireann's John Eagleton said the country was likely to avoid the heavy snowfall that have led to hundreds of flights from Heathrow, London being cancelled.
"I don't think snow is a big problem for us, it's just not cold enough," he said. "It's been raining in the east for four days now and there has been quite an accumulation.
"But I don't see flooding. Whatever we have now, I don't see a lot more. The temperatures will be low, we're definitely in the middle of winter."
The Dublin Airport Authority said it had not been greatly impacted by the frosty conditions in the UK and only two British Airways flights to London had been cancelled.
There were a number of delays in flights from the UK and one Aer Lingus flight from London was cancelled.
However, hundreds of people were queuing at BA's check-in desks at Heathrow's Terminal 5.
Aoife Bergin, 29, from Co Westmeath, was looking forward to a three-week holiday in Tokyo with her boyfriend, but had been standing in the queue for almost two hours yesterday.
"We've been on this one for about an hour and we were in another one for about 45 minutes. They told us to move to this one because it might be quicker," she said.
Ms Bergin also poured scorn on BA, saying the airline had not kept passengers informed at all.
"They haven't announced anything. There was nothing on the website this morning when we checked.
"The staff don't know anything to tell you. There's not enough staff here for the passengers," she said.
Summing up her experience, Ms Bergin said: "It's just been bad."