Saturday 17 February 2018

Milder weather to finally give us all a break

A mother and a child sledging at the Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A mother and a child sledging at the Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Sheep in a snowy field near Dungiven in Co Derry Photo: Margaret McLaughlin
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Flood-hit communities are set for some welcome relief from stormy weather with dry, mild conditions expected over the next week.

But gardaí and the Road Safety Authority urged motorists to drive with extreme care given the continued risk of patches of freezing fog and black ice in some higher areas.

Met Éireann indicated that while Ireland would have unsettled weather for the next few days, it should prove warmer than last week.

The ESB confirmed that water discharges would remain at existing levels on both the Parteen Weir on the River Shannon and the Inniscarra Dam on the River Lee. The dry weather over recent days has helped reduce water levels on all major Irish river systems.

However, gardaí urged motorists to continue to drive with care given the fact that some roads, particularly in rural areas, were damaged by the torrential rainfall and floods.

The combination of water-logged roads and black ice since last Wednesday caused mayhem for commuters, especially in the south.

Gardaí in Cork confirmed that in the space of three days they had to deal with 120 traffic accidents linked to icy conditions.

Parts of the north, particularly on higher ground, could still see more black ice.

Met Éireann stressed that no significant frost was expected, although patchy frost is possible in some higher inland areas.

Temperatures are expected to pick up by the end of the week, with particularly mild conditions expected in the south and south-west.

Meanwhile, blizzards are battering parts of Eastern Europe, forcing roads to close, trains and flights to be cancelled and producing power outages.

Snow has blanketed parts of Romania, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Poland. Romania's transportation ministry said 12 major roads were closed yesterday due to heavy snow, while railway authorities said 20 trains had been cancelled. At least three flights were also cancelled.

Heavy snow and torrential rains in Bulgaria left tens of thousands of people in more than 1,000 villages and towns without power, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.

Irish Independent

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