Tuesday 16 January 2018

Wintry blast proves tough to shake off with more snow on the way

Hill walker Teresa Kelly playing in the snow with her German Shepard 'Bella' at Brown Mountain, Aughrim, Co Wicklow Photo: Michael Kelly
Hill walker Teresa Kelly playing in the snow with her German Shepard 'Bella' at Brown Mountain, Aughrim, Co Wicklow Photo: Michael Kelly
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Freezing fog will create a hazard for motorists today as temperatures plummet, with a bitterly cold weekend on the way.

Met Éireann says while Ireland will generally enjoy drier conditions over the coming days, there will be a risk of fog in many areas as well as frost and ice.

Today and tomorrow will carry the greatest risk of ice as temperatures fall due to the effect of two Atlantic weather fronts.

The cold weather will bring snowfall to higher ground, with the low temperatures and high moisture levels likely to create fog banks in many areas, particularly inland and in river valleys.

Tomorrow will see the greatest extent of frost and ice patches with motorists and pedestrians urged to exercise caution.

The weekend will see the icy temperatures persist, with parts of Munster facing the threat of snow and sleet showers.

Winds will begin to pick up from Sunday evening with the prospect of blustery but milder conditions next week.

Gardaí and Road Safety Authority officials urged people to travel with care over the coming 48 hours, given the risk of frost, black ice and fog.

Meanwhile, councils are to seek a dramatic increase in road funding from the Department of the Environment given the succession of damaging storms.

Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Clare, Galway and Westmeath councils acknowledged that they now faced substantial increases in their repair bills given the wave of Atlantic storms since December 5.

Worst hit have been secondary roads and harbour facilities.

One Cork councillor, Noel McCarthy, warned that some secondary roads had started to disintegrate because of the extreme weather.

Major damage has also been suffered by quays around the western and south-western seaboard, given the violence of Storms Desmond, Frank, Gertrude and Imogen.

In Clare, clean-up and repair operations are already under way for quay walls in Kilkee, Doolin and Lahinch damaged last Monday.

In Cape Clear, Co Cork, Storm Imogen resulted in the island ferry being trapped in the harbour for 24 hours.

Islanders are now demanding a better back-up power supply system for new storm gates.

Irish Independent

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