Monday 24 September 2018

'Treacherous' snowy conditions to deteriorate as temperatures set to plunge to -8C

Road users are being warned to take extreme caution

Stock image (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Stock image (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Catherine Devine and Allison Bray

The first major snowfall of the year hit much of the country last night as Met Éireann issued a Status Orange snow and ice alert for 17 counties.

The alert remains in place until 11pm tomorrow as temperatures are expected to get worse on Sunday night.

Met Eireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that "treacherous" conditions are expected over the coming days.

"It will begin to cloud over in the south-west later today with some widespread rain and that is when things will get tricky. It's going to bring local spot flooding into the south and south-west but as it moves northwards into that cold air it is going to turn to snow and we're expecting large accumulations over Connacht, the midlands and much of Leinster too. Temperatures tonight in that snowy weather is going to be between -1 and -5 degrees."

Ms Donnelly said that winds will become strong before tomorrow morning.

"Most of the country can expect a snowy white blanket on Sunday morning. That snow will continue on Sunday. There will be some heavy rain in Munster too. Temperatures on Sunday evening will struggle to rise above freezing. On Sunday temperatures will be as low as -8C, possibly lower still.

Snowfall expected for most parts of the country this weekend
Snowfall expected for most parts of the country this weekend

"There will be widespread severe frost on Sunday night and that is going to bring treacherous driving conditions to the whole country with all areas at risk on Sunday night and Monday morning. There will be sleet and snow for a while until it gradually dies out.

"Conditions are going to get dangerous tonight as the rain turns to snow and moves widespread over the country. If you have any journeys on Monday morning do take care because conditions are going to be treacherous."

Claremorris, Co Mayo
Mount Temple in Moate, Co Westmeath
Mount Temple in Moate, Co Westmeath
Moylough, Co. Galway
Brothers Ger Laverty, 10, and Finn Lavertty, 6, play in the snow on the Mourne Mountains near the village of Hilltown, Northern Ireland, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Monivea, Galway
Charlie enjoying the snow in Knocknacarra, Galway
Snow in Bohola, Co Mayo Photo: Avril Byrne
Cnoc Bán, Spink, Co. Laois living up to it’s name this morning Photo: John Fitzpatrick
Dublin city and Howth from Cruagh, Dublin Mountains
Wexford covered in snow on Sunday morning Photo: Michael Jordan
Snow in Carlow on Sunday morning Photo: Shane Kenny
Daniel Taylor aka Inn Keeper, escaping through the snow after his Nursery Nativity show at Enniskillen Integrated Nursery School. Photo: Dawn McCosker
Snow in Roscommon on Sunday morning
Snow in Roscommon on Sunday morning
Snow in Roscommon on Sunday morning
Galway on Sunday morning Photo: Dolores O'Shea
Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Snow in Ballymacallen Ballymore, Westmeath
A child walks up a lane in the snow on the Mourne Mountains near the village of Hilltown, Northern Ireland, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Glenravel, Co Antrim this morning. Photo: Siobhan McMullan
People go sledding on the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast, as parts of the UK and Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow caused by an Arctic airflow in the wake of Storm Caroline. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Snow on Djouce mountain in Co Wicklow today Photo John O'Hehir
Cyclists climb the Buttertubs pass between Wensleydale and Swaledale as parts of the UK and Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow caused by an Arctic airflow in the wake of Storm Caroline. Photo: John Giles/PA Wire
Glenravel, Co Antrim this morning. Photo: Siobhan McMullan
Snow this morning in Athlone. Photo: Akash Bhattacharya,
Westport, Mayo
Ballickmoyler, Laois
Billy, Paul and Niall having snow much fun in Carlow
Natalie Trotter and her son Logan, 9, try sledding on the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast, as parts of the UK and Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow caused by an Arctic airflow in the wake of Storm Caroline. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
People go sledding on the grounds of Stormont Estate, Belfast, as parts of the UK and Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow caused by an Arctic airflow in the wake of Storm Caroline. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Angela, Padraig and Ava Breslin in Monivea, Galway
A dog walks in the snow on the Mourne Mountains near the village of Hilltown, Northern Ireland, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Athenry, Co Galway
Mount Errigal covered in Snow at Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Snow covered hills at Glenveigh National Park, Donegal today. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
A person runs through the snow in a field on the Mourne Mountains near the village of Hilltown, Northern Ireland, December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Horses in a field in Cloughoge, Newry, as parts of the UK and Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow caused by an Arctic airflow in the wake of Storm Caroline. Picture date: Friday December 8, 2017. See PA story WEATHER Caroline. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath and Meath and the five counties in Connacht could see accumulations of between 4cm and 8cms  of snow with drifting likely due to strong northerly winds by tomorrow morning and throughout the day on Sunday.

This was due to the clash of cold air with heavy rain moving northwards from the south-west overnight and another rain system moving southwards during the day today.

The National Emergency Coordination Group met yesterday to discuss measures to deal with any potential issues arising from the severe snow and ice conditions.

It said that in addition to road salting, local authorities would be activating assessment teams to review conditions.

Meanwhile, the Road Safety Authority last night urged all road users and pedestrians to take extreme caution over the next few days and be on the look-out for treacherous black ice appearing as glossy patches, especially in sheltered areas.

“Slippery paths and treacherous roads are also expected due to snow accumulation and ice.

Dublin will shiver as temperatures drop
Dublin will shiver as temperatures drop

“Lower temperatures will mean roads may be icy, beware of black ice,” the RSA said, adding that drivers must drive slower than normal on icy or snowy roads.

AA Roadwatch is advising motorists to slow down due to the icy conditions.

"Allow extra time to defrost your car before your journey and keep in mind that stopping distances are up to 10 times longer in icy conditions."

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