Thursday 22 August 2019

Motorists warned of black ice as wintry showers forecast amid ongoing snow-ice alert

  • 'Polar low' bringing ice, snow and freezing temperatures
  • Black ice on the roads this morning
  • 'Treacherous conditions' reported in some parts of the country
  • Motorists urged to take care on the roads
Snow falling in Mayo on Friday Credit: Midwest Radio video
Snow falling in Mayo on Friday Credit: Midwest Radio video Newsdesk Newsdesk

The country woke up to frost and icy patches in many parts this morning as motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads .

A snow-ice yellow weather warning issued by the national forecaster is still in force and will remain so until midnight tonight.

Met Eireann has forecast scattered snow showers across Ireland, mainly falling in Western and Northern counties.

As the day progresses, this will likely begin to turn to rain and sleet, with only isolated showers in South East.

The sunshine will break through today but fresh and gusty west to north west wind will make the temperatures feel even lower than the 4-7 degrees predicted.

A separate status yellow wind warning has been issued on Saturday morning as northwest winds will increase to gale force at times this evening and tonight on coasts from Rossan Point to Malin Head to Belfast Lough and on the Irish Sea north of Anglesey.

As showers gradually ease off later this evening, frost and some icy patches are expected to develop in many areas lowest temperatures of -2 to +2 degrees forecast overnight.

Gerald Flemming of Met Eireann said that November has been mild so far but the cold snap is normal for this time of year.

"It's really a big change from what we've had so far in November which has been a relatively mild month. This time last year we were looking at minus 7 degrees so it's in no way unprecedented," he told RTE Radio One.

He stressed that motorists should take care on the roads today and tomorrow, "especially the back roads - the main roads will have been gritted and salted - mind your speed and keep your distance that little bit longer."

According to AA Roadwatch, stopping distances are 10 times longer on snow and ice and gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving. Use major routes as they are more likely to have been gritted than secondary routes.

Mr Flemming said that it isn't likely that temperatures will get as low as the 'big freeze' in 2010.

He also said that snow isn't expected for Christmas.

"There's no sign of anything like we had back in 2010 when we had that exceptionally cold period. I'd never bank on a White Christmas though. At this stage we just can't tell what it will be like coming into Christmas."

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