Tuesday 22 May 2018

Snow and ice on way as Storm Fionn holds country in Arctic grip

Storm Fionn arrives on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, with its storm force winds dumping rain and sleet on The Kingdom Photo: Don MacMonagle
Storm Fionn arrives on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, with its storm force winds dumping rain and sleet on The Kingdom Photo: Don MacMonagle
A snow flurry in the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday
Gabriel Walsh, from Moycullen, braces against the wind in Salthill Photo: Andrew Downes

Laura Lynott and Stephen Maguire

Snow, wind and ice warnings are in place as Storm Fionn continues to hold Ireland in an Arctic grip.

Around 3cm of snow is to fall in the Dublin Mountains, with similar blankets forecast across Leinster.

Forecasters said that winds of up to 110kmh would batter the country as temperatures were not expected to go above 4C.

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange wind warning across the country and a Status Yellow wind warning for Leinster. A Status Yellow snow and ice warning was also expected to stay in place until this morning.

"In Dublin, we will see a few showers and winds will be strong but will become moderate, reaching the city by early evening," a Met Éireann spokesman said. "South-westerly winds will increase from strong to very strong and some heavy rain will possibly lead to sleet."

While some parts of Leinster may have woken up to snow, rain and sleet will be more widespread.

Coastal areas remain at risk of flooding due to high winds, Met Éireann warned.

A combination of high winds and snowfall created blizzard-like conditions for drivers last night.

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange wind warning for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry.

The warning comes as severe weather conditions across Co Donegal caused widespread traffic disruption yesterday and even resulted in lightning damaging a 45-metre blade on a wind-turbine on the Inishowen Peninsula.

People awoke to snowfall in many places in the county but roads were passable.

However, further heavy falls of sleet and snow left many roads in a dangerous condition.

With more snow and plunging temperatures forecast last night, Donegal County Council issued a plea to motorists to slow down.

"Donegal County Council is urging all members of the public to exercise caution, to take extra care on the roads and to allow extra time for journeys," said a spokesman.

The council's road gritting crews were out again yesterday from 4pm gritting all the main routes in the county with a view to keeping the roads passable.

The spokesman added: "We are appealing to all motorists to take extra care and even if a road is treated it does not guarantee that the road is ice free, so extreme care should be taken. Gritting crews will be out again tomorrow morning."

A number of minor accidents were reported across the county, including in Creeslough and Ramelton.

A warning has also been issued for Donegal and western counties due to an increased risk of coastal flooding.

AA Roadwatch advised motorists to slow down and remember stopping distances are 10 times longer in snow and ice.

Irish Independent

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