'Serious' snowfall on the way as mercury to plummet to -7C
- 'Minor' delays at Cork Airport
- Snow hits parts of the south and west
- Temperatures as low as -7C expected
- Motorists urged to use 'extra caution'
It's time to stock up on bread, milk and spuds once again as "serious snow" is expected in many parts of the country this week.
As the five-day "status yellow" warning takes charge, the country is facing temperatures as low as -7C.
Met Éireann has warned of "frequent" showers of hail, sleet and snow in the southwest, west and north west, with snowfall accumulations likely this evening and overnight.
Parts of the country woke up to the first sightings of snow yesterday morning, including Westport in Co Mayo and the Wicklow mountains.
This morning, snowfall was visible in parts of Cork, with "minor delays" reported at Cork Airport.
"Please allow extra time for all journeys to and from Cork Airport over the next few days," a spokesperson said.
The first departures of the day have taken off @CorkAirport albeit with some minor delays due to the snowy conditions prevailing across the country. Please allow extra time for all journeys to and from @CorkAirport over the next few days #lovetakingoff pic.twitter.com/VtHubxs4L9— Cork Airport (@CorkAirport) January 30, 2019
AA Roadwatch have reported snow lying on a number of roads across the country this morning, including Midleton, Carrick-on-Shannon, Manorhamilton, Sligo Town and Letterkenny.
"Slippery conditions have also been reported around Longford Town, Roscommon Town, Tullamore, Mullingar, Cavan Town, Cork City, Limerick City, Galway City, Portlaoise and Thurles," a spokesperson said.
"Frost and ice are likely on secondary routes and on high ground in particular.
"Remember it takes up to ten times longer to stop on an icy road. In affected areas, slow down, keep further back from the vehicle in front and keep all manoeuvres gentle."
The status yellow weather warning will remain in place until 6pm on Saturday.
Very cold with widespread frost and icy patches this morning and with lying snow in places. All areas will have good sunny spells today and the wintry showers will become more isolated by afternoon. Top temperatures 3 to 5 C., generally, but up to 7 C., on the southwest coast. pic.twitter.com/91pM0jP039— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) January 30, 2019
While the wintry showers were previously described as isolated, "serious" snowfall can be expected today and Thursday, according to Met Éireann forecaster John Eagleton.
"The big threat of snow this week is on Wednesday night and during Thursday, as the winds turn easterly in direction and as the pressure to the south of Ireland injects moisture to those easterly winds," he said.
"Once that threat passes, it will remain cold and frosty for Friday and the weekend, and then temperatures will start to creep up again at the start of next week.
The national forecaster predicts that Saturday night will be "bitterly cold" with lowest temperatures of -2 to -7C.
There is still uncertainty for Sunday, but current indications suggest a dry and bright start with outbreaks of rain later in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, extra beds are being made available for rough sleepers throughout the status yellow warning.
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said yesterday it had activated its extreme weather protocol in response to the cold weather.
"A yellow weather warning indicates that the weather is not threatening to the general population, but can pose a risk for people exposed to the weather," a spokesperson said.
"The DRHE is fully aware of the potential impact that this type of weather can have on people sleeping rough."
It said extra beds are ready for use for the duration of the yellow weather warning, and these beds are additional to more than 250 beds that became available in 2018.
Elsewhere, Housing First teams are continuing to deliver a targeted response to people who are long-term rough sleeping and people who may not be in regular contact with services.
Meanwhile, ALONE, the charity that helps elderly people in Ireland, are urging the public to check in on their older neighbours during the cold weather.
"We are asking members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs, such as food, essentials or possibly medication pick up," said CEO Seán Moynihan.
"We're advising older people to stay indoors where possible once the cold weather takes hold, and to take care in order to avoid falls on ice or sleet."