Thursday 18 July 2019

'Do not risk life or limb by going out' - Taoiseach's warning as red alert is issued to ALL counties

  • 'We're in red alert, everybody should stay indoor during blizzard' - Taoiseach
  • Met Éireann lists red snow-ice warning for ALL counties
  • Blizzard: In Leinster and Munster people should plan to be at home from Thursday at 4pm until noon on Friday
  • Schools closed in areas affected by red alert
  • Further disruptive heavy snow showers expected overnight with 'significant accumulations'
  • Public transport disrupted by weather (see details below)
  • Blizzard conditions not seen in Ireland since 1982
A quiet Dublin city centre as Met Éireann's Red Status weather warning remains in place (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
A quiet Dublin city centre as Met Éireann's Red Status weather warning remains in place (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
A quiet Dublin city centre as Met Éireann's Red Status weather warning remains in place (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
A quiet Dublin city centre as Met Éireann's Red Status weather warning remains in place (Photo: Colin O'Riordain)
Dagmara Jakkububowicz from Carrigaline walks her dog Bubu around the pond in the Community Park in Carrigaline Co. Cork. Photo: David Creedon / Anzenberger
A man on his way to work walks through Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin as heavy snow has caused more misery for travellers overnight. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Tyanna Darcy, 2, left, and Sandrio Jiqia, 4, enjoy playing in the snow. Lanesborough, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Swans swim on the frozen Grand Canal in Sallins, Co. Kildare. Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Monbeg, Co. Wexford. Andrew Kehoe, his dog Holly and Richard Walsh from the Irish Defence forces giving him a lift to dialysis centre in Wexford
The Alderwood area of Tallaght this morning. Picture: Kyran O'Brien
The Alderwood area of Tallaght this morning. Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Otta the Dalmation dog looks at the fallen snow in Dublin, Ireland February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Commuters make their way in the snow in Lucan, Co. Dublin this morning, on Wednesday, the first day of heavy snow from 'The Beast of the East'..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A snow plough clears roads in in Lucan, Co. Dublin this morning, on Wednesday, the first day of heavy snow from 'The Beast of the East'..Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A man walks through a street after a snow flurry in Dublin, Ireland February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Gritting lorries will be out in force as severe weather is expected across Ireland (Niall Carson/PA)
Firhouse Dublin Wednesday morning
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Daredevils have been warned to stay indoors during what will be an unprecedented "white-out" in parts of the country tomorrow.

Accumulations of snow are now expected to reach 40cm by Friday in what is predicted to be the most severe weather event in recent years.

Met Éireann have extended their Status Red weather warning, in place until 3pm on Friday, to all counties. The warning was issued at 11pm on Wednesday night and came into immediate effect. The east and south will be worst affected.

Storm-force winds are also expected.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has now called on people to "take heed of the warnings".

He warned that it is not a time for "daredevils".

Birds in the snow. Photo credit: Dave Keegan Photography
Birds in the snow. Photo credit: Dave Keegan Photography
Dog shaking off the snow. Photo credit: Dave Keegan Photography
Monkstown Beach captured in the snow. Pic: Stephen O'Rourke
Daisey the dog [4] plays in the snow at St Mary's quadrangle at Maynooth University. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
People walk along a snow covered road in Maynooth. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
Jaspret Kaur at the Irish War Memorial Gardens. Pic: Jaspreet Kaur
Man and girl take shelter during a snow flurry in Maynooth. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
Five year old Jane Argue from Maynooth plays in the snow at St Mary's quadrangle at Maynooth University. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
A lady clears the footpath outside her shop in Maynooth. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
Dawn Byrne from Wexford photographs the snow at St Mary's quadrangle at Maynooth University. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
Denis Hogan from Kildare County Council spreads some grit on the footpaths in Maynooth . Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
Sheep at Huntstown Co Dublin keeping an eye out for the ‘Beast from the East’ . Pic: Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
A raven finds the snow a little deeper than anticipated in Dunboyne. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath 28/2/18
A road sign that says it all as the ‘Beast from the East’ moves in. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
Geese enjoy the winter conditions at Shankill Castle and Gardens in Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny. Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Snow falls on rooftops in Kilkenny City. Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Snow falls on Kilkenny Castle during blizzard conditions in Kilkenny City. Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Snow falls on a hurling statue during blizzard conditions in Kilkenny City. Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Ducks on a frozen pond in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 28/2/2018
Pip enjoying the snow in Mullingar. Sent in by Sighle Fitzgerald
The military graveyard at the Curragh in Kildare. Pic sent in by Susan Coffey
28 Feb 2018: Dog enjoys the snow. Lanesborough Park, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
28 Feb 2018: Tylor Buckley, 12, enjoys the snow in Lanesborough Park, Finglas, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
(L-R) Ethan Gray, Tom Eagers, 2, Olivia Gray, 7 and Caroline Gray, enjoying the snow in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: Damien Eagers 28/2/2018
Allie and Ciall Flynn enjoying the snow and the day off school in Slane, Co Meath. Picture By David Conachy.
Enjoying the snow and the day off school in Slane, Co Meath. Picture By David Conachy.
Sisters Rhianna and Jodie Binns with their dog ‘Milo’ walking through the snow in Donabate. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
Fiachra O’Mahony and his dog “Millie’ out for a walk along the sea at Portrane North Co. Dublin. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
Maria Connor from Portrane out playing in the snow with her Springer Spaniel Cross dogs ‘Lucky’ and ‘Toffee’. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
Fiachra O’Mahony and his dog “Millie’ out for a walk along the sea at Portrane North Co.Dublin. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018.
Young boys having fun with a giant snowball in Donabate. Pic Steve Humphreys 28th February 2018
Ballyedmonduff, Dublin Mountains Photo: Lisa Doyle
Glendalough, Co Wicklow Photo: Cillian Ó Gairbhí
Trim Castle Photo: Conor O'Mahony
Drumcondra this morning Photo: Krishna
Greystones, Co Wicklow
Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Oscar enjoying his first experience of snow at the Community Park in Carrigaline Co. Cork Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Lucan, Dublin
Carlow
Wicklow
Snow Day....Lindsey O'Byrne and her Partner Shane Satelle with their Children Scott(7),Robyn(4) and Hallie (2) enjoying the snow in Tallaght Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Swans swim on the frozen Grand Canal in Sallins, Co. Kildare Picture: Tony Gavin 28/2/2018
Nutgrove, Dublin
Dagmara Jakkububowicz from Carrigaline walks her dog Bubu around the pond in the Community Park in Carrigaline Co. Cork Picture David Creedon / Anzenberger
Templemore, Co Tipperary
The Curragh
Glendalough, Co Wicklow Photo: Cillian Ó Gairbhí
Glendalough, Co Wicklow Photo: Cillian Ó Gairbhí
The Irish War Memorial Park Photo: Emma Fenlon (Dublin)
A man on his way to work walks through Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Phoenix Park, Dublin
Having fun in North Dublin as storm Emma hits Ireland Pic:Mark Condren
Dublin Airport
Commuters make their way in the snow in Lucan, Co. Dublin this morning Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Poolbeg
Commuters make their way in the snow in Lucan, Co. Dublin this morning Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

"We're in red alert, everybody should stay indoors," he said.

In an 'address to the nation', Mr Varadkar said there is a real risk to life over the next 48 hours.

"Bear in a mind that in a blizzard scenario, people might not even be able to see the hand in front of their face," he said.

Mr Varadkar asked people to heed of the warnings and "not to risk life or risk limb by going out in the snow or engaging in daredevil activities".

He said children should be allowed enjoy playing in the snow but by tomorrow afternoon Leinster and Munster need to enter shutdown between 4pm tomorrow and midday on Friday.

The Taoiseach described the expected blizzard as a "total whiteout".

"I'm confident we are as prepared as we can be," he said.

Mr Varadkar confirmed that emergency services will be "constrained" at the height of the storm.

He said ambulance and fire crews should only be called out to "genuine emergencies".

"They will be constrained in their operations as well because of the hazard road conditions and winds and snow," he said.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said buses and trains will face "controlled disruption".

He said commuters needed to remember the drivers and other staff needed to get home and stay safe as well.

Mr Ross said the "drama of the situation" was "almost unprecedented", adding that 25cm of snow will accumulate tomorrow before rising to 40cm on Friday.

"It represents a real challenge to people. People must stay at home," he said.

"We'll have public transport back as soon as is safe."

Status Red

A red weather warning has only been issued on six occasions since the system was introduced in 2013 – and only for rainstorms, never for snow.

"It is very exceptional. It’s not normal," Met Éireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack said.

Storm Emma is due to connect with the ‘Beast from the East’ from late afternoon tomorrow, meaning conditions worsen. This will first hit in Cork, Waterford and Wexford, before spreading across most parts of the country.

"What’s happening is the cold polar easterly air will produce some showers (of snow)," Ms Cusack said.

"As Emma moves in, it’s going to clash with the cold polar air and that’s producing the continuous snow we’re forecasting for Thursday and Friday accompanied by strong to gale force easterly winds. We’re taking about maybe 100 or 110kmh (winds), affecting chiefly easterly and southern areas, and there’s high tides as well."

She said the snow was expected to be “"pretty significant", and sub-zero temperatures were likely to remain in place over the weekend.

While the maximum daytime temperatures would be 1C, with wind chill it would "feel like -5C", she added.

Warnings

There are currently five weather warnings listed on Met Éireann's official forecast.

A status red snow-ice warning is in place for Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Cork and Waterford. It is in place from Wednesday 8pm until Thursday noon.

It reads; "Further disruptive heavy snow showers are expected overnight with significant accumulations."

A status red snow-ice warning for Munster and Leinster is in place from Thursday 4pm until Friday noon.

It reads; "Blizzard-like conditions will develop in heavy snow and strong easterly winds on Thursday evening and will continue Thursday night and Friday morning giving significant snow drifts in many areas."

A status orange warning for Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal will come into effect on Thursday at 8pm until Friday at noon.

It reads; "Persistent snow will develop on Thursday night and will continue into Friday. Together with strong easterly winds this may lead to snow drifts."

A status orange warning for Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan and Galway is in effect from Wednesday at 8pm until Thursday noon.

It reads; "Further snow showers tonight and on Thursday morning with significant accumulations expected."

Finally, a Status Yellow snow-ice warning is in place for Donegal, Monaghan, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Clare, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary. It is in effect from Wednesday 8pm until Thursday at noon.

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