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More snow on way after coldest ever December

Met Eireann warned yesterday that more cold weather is on the way. Temperatures could fall as low as -4C tonight, with up to 10cm of snow forecast to fall on Friday.

"We expect a weather front to appear on the south coast late on Thursday, which will push up through the country. That suggests there will be snow," forecaster Eoin Sherlock said.

"Friday will be 2C to 4C during the day, but it's above zero, which is important. At night-time on Friday the minimum will be -1C in the north-west. We're hopeful the rain will wash it (the snow) away.

"There will be strong winds associated with this so if the snow does form, there is a chance it will drift. It's going to be unsettled next week with more rain drifting in from the Atlantic. It will be wet and cold, but not as cold as what we had."

The forecast of more freezing conditions came as December was officially confirmed yesterday as the coldest on record. Arctic conditions left a blanket of snow across the country and temperatures plunged 6C lower than normal in some places.

The mercury plunged to a bone-chilling -17.5C in Straide, Co Mayo, on Christmas Day -- the coldest day recorded -- while on the same day 27cm of snow was lying at Casement Aerodrome in Dublin.

Met Eireann's monthly weather summary shows that for nine consecutive days last month temperatures failed to go above freezing in some stations.

The exceptionally cold weather during December brought some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded in Ireland, with the weather station at Ballyhaise in Co Cavan recording an average daily temperature of -1.4C, the lowest ever.

But it was drier and sunnier than normal -- Belmullet and Valentia Observatory recorded their sunniest December.

"Mean air temperatures for the month were up to six degrees lower than normal in places and it was the coldest December on record," the report said.

Irish Independent