Temperatures to plunge to -3C with 'accumulations of snow' on the way
Met Eireann warned that the cold air and some icy conditions coming tonight will be “a real shock to the system”
STRONG winds today will be followed by very cold weather tonight and tomorrow, with temperatures dropping as low as minus 3C in some parts accompanied with 'accumulations of snow'.
Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton said it will be windy throughout the country today, but we’ll be spared the worst effects of Storm Caroline.
Today will be “windy, blustery, cold and bright and it will be quite showery in the north-west”, he said.
“When evening comes in, temperatures will drop and those showers will turn wintry in Donegal, north Mayo, Connemara, north Longford and north Midlands.”
The Met Eireann website says that those wintry showers will be widespread and frequent in the north of the country with "accumulations of snow over lower ground".
Temperatures will drop to zero or below zero tonight for the bulk of the country, he said, but will hit as low at minus 3C in the northwest tomorrow.
“It will be cold for the next 10 days, with temperatures hardly making it up to 10C during the day,” said Mr Eagleton.
A status yellow wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Kerry will remain in place until 8pm tonight.
Earlier, Met Eireann warned that the cold air and some icy conditions coming tonight will be “a real shock to the system” after the mild period. It will turn increasingly wintry with biting north-west winds. There may be a light dusting of snow around the country, and it may stick in places in the north and northwest.
The Road Safety Authority has cautioned motorists to expect the unexpected with high winds and icy conditions.
Its advice included:
• Watch out for falling/fallen debris and vehicles veering across the road.
• Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong crosswinds. High-sided vehicles and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
• Allow extra space between you and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists.
• Drive with dipped headlights at all times.
• Check tyres and consider replacing them if the tread depth is below 3mm.
• It takes longer to stop in wet conditions, so slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front.
• Take special care when driving behind heavy goods vehicles, as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces visibility.
• Be aware of the danger of aquaplaning, especially on roads with speed limits of 100kph and 120kph.
Meanwhile, in the UK, they are bracing themselves for the worst of Storm Caroline.
Severe gales are beginning to strengthen across parts of the UK as Storm Caroline arrives - with forecasters warning of a danger to life amid "devastating" gusts in some areas.
The Met Office has issued an amber "be prepared" weather warning for northern Scotland on Thursday.
High winds were already picking up in the early hours, with gusts of up to 90mph expected to batter the region through the morning.
Train services in the north and west of the country have been cancelled, while Traffic Scotland is warning of potential disruptions on the road.
Met Office meteorologist John West said: "Storm Caroline is well on its way across northern parts of the UK.
"There will be devastating winds in some parts. More broadly across Scotland there will be 60-70mph gusts, but in exposed areas we could see 90mph."
The strong wind warning is valid from 6am until 11.55pm on Thursday, with an amber warning for northern Scotland.
A yellow "be aware" warning is in force for the southern half of Scotland and parts of the north of Northern Ireland between 6am and 6pm as well.
The Met Office has warned of flying debris that could lead to injuries or danger to life, while damage to property is also possible.