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Status Yellow snow and ice warning in place as commuters wake up to sleet and frost

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Sheep feed during heavy snowfall in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O'Neill

Sheep feed during heavy snowfall in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O'Neill

Risk: Gardaí and mountain rescue 4x4s return from the Sally Gap in Co Wicklow with snow tourists on board they had rescued as conditions continued to deteriorate. Photo: Garry O’Neill

Risk: Gardaí and mountain rescue 4x4s return from the Sally Gap in Co Wicklow with snow tourists on board they had rescued as conditions continued to deteriorate. Photo: Garry O’Neill

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Sheep feed during heavy snowfall in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O'Neill

COMMUTERS have woken up to flurries of snow and frost across the country this morning, as a Status Yellow snow and ice warning comes into place.

Met Éireann have warned that some disruption to travel is possible with widespread wintry showers and some snowfall accumulations.

AA Roadwatch are urging motorists to take care while driving this morning, with reports of "especially slippery conditions" around parts of counties Cavan, Longford and Roscommon, particularly in Tulsk and Boyle, as well as south Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois, Meath, Dublin, Westmeath, Donegal, Leitrim, Galway and Kerry.

"In affected areas, it will take much longer to stop a vehicle, so slow down and avoid any harsh acceleration or braking," a spokesperson said.

There is a separate Status Yellow wind warning in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry until 8pm tonight.

"Strong westerly winds continuing with mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h and gusts to 110km/h, highest in coastal areas," a forecaster said.

"A combination of spring tides and high seas will result in a risk of coastal flooding, especially around high tide."

Cold and wintry conditions are set to prevail before giving way later in the week to milder, but wet and windy, conditions.

According to the national forecaster, the cold snap, which has seen snow fall across the country, will continue until tomorrow afternoon when a new weather system will bring milder temperatures, but "some very wet and windy periods".

The snow showers yesterday briefly raised memories of 2015, when a blanket of snow covered Ireland in February.

Snow fell nationwide, with areas like the Sally Gap, midland areas and high land seeing thick snow.

But according to a forecaster for the national meteorological service, the "cold snap" will not last.

"The cold spell, in terms of those wintry showers, will be continuing this evening, tonight and into the early hours of tomorrow," Liz Coleman said yesterday.

"It will be cold tonight with wintry falls continuing and some snow lying, drier in the Midlands, east and south with just well scattered wintry showers.

"Frost and icy conditions will continue with overnight lows of around zero or -1C."

The snow arrived when, as Storm Ciara moved away from Irish shores, colder air originating from Canada began to feed down over Ireland.

According to Ms Coleman, this will be replaced by a high-pressure weather system which will take the mercury upwards, but will bring with it rain and wind.

It will be very disturbed through the rest of the week. The cold and wintry conditions will turn milder later in the week but there will still be some very wet and windy periods.

Ms Coleman added: "Showers will become less frequent tomorrow morning and then later on we'll have a spell of wet and windy weather but we'll see temperatures increasing slightly.

"There might be small accumulations of snow on mostly high ground but we're not talking about massive extents of accumulations of snow.

"Tomorrow, there will still be a few isolated showers and then later on we'll see a rise in temperatures in the south-west as a low-pressure system moves up across the country.

"That will bring some wet and windy weather overnight."

By the end of this week Ireland will see 10 hours of daylight each day for the first time since the end of October.

Temperatures during the day will have returned to normal for this time of year by the end of the week.

However, Ms Coleman said that while the cold snap was part of an "organised system" which will no longer be present in Ireland, by Thursday overnight temperatures may still plummet as wind paired with colder air created a "significant wind chill".

"The increasing cloud and wet and windy weather across the country tomorrow night will clear through on Thursday morning," she said.

"On Thursday there will be a mix of scattered showers and some sunny spells and then on Thursday night it will be a cold and clear night with some widespread frost, temperatures dropping back to freezing to -3C.

"On Friday we'll see another band of rain moving in early in the morning and that will spread throughout the country on Friday."

The expectation for the weekend is that the weather will be very unpredictable, but mild.

Periods of heavy rain and strong winds are expected.

Met Éireann have warned that some disruption to travel is possible with widespread wintry showers and some snowfall accumulations. AA Roadwatch are urging motorists to take care while driving this morning, with reports of "especially slippery conditions" around parts of counties Cavan, Longford and Roscommon, particularly in Tulsk and Boyle, as well as south Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois, Meath, Dublin, Westmeath, Donegal, Leitrim, Galway and Kerry. "In affected areas, it will take much longer to stop a vehicle, so slow down and avoid any harsh acceleration or braking," a spokesperson said. There is a separate Status Yellow wind warning in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry until 8pm tonight. "Strong westerly winds continuing with mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h and gusts to 110km/h, highest in coastal areas," a forecaster said. "A combination of spring tides and high seas will result in a risk of coastal flooding, especially around high tide." Cold and wintry conditions are set to prevail before giving way later in the week to milder, but wet and windy, conditions.

Irish Independent