Sunday 16 December 2018

Winter is here: snow due at end of week

  • Coldest spell of the year as temperatures are set to hit -4C

  • Rough-sleeper figures now stand at more than 100 people

There is a chance of snow sticking in Dublin and north Leinster. AP Photo
There is a chance of snow sticking in Dublin and north Leinster. AP Photo
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

A cold snap of sleet and snow is due to hit the country from Thursday morning, with the north-west due to experience the brunt of it.

Temperatures as low as -4C are expected towards the back-end of the working week.

Areas of Mayo, Leitrim and Donegal are at the highest risk of snow. However, there is also a chance of snow sticking in areas of Dublin and north Leinster, particularly the Wicklow mountains, according to Met Éireann forecaster Vincent O'Shea.

"We'll have some heavy rain on Wednesday evening," Mr O'Shea said.

"The worst affected places will be in the north-west, where there will be both sleet and snow.

"There'll be snowfall in the north-west counties and in Cavan and Leitrim, but as one gets down through the midlands and south, there will be milder conditions.

"Dublin is likely going to get some light snow showers on Thursday night into Friday morning."

In areas that manage to avoid the sleet and snow, heavy frost is expected.

Daytime weather conditions are not expected to rise above 3C over the course of Thursday and Friday.

Milder weather is expected to return during the weekend.

Mr O'Shea said that weather conditions today would remain similar to recent days, in that it will be particularly dry for December.

This week's short cold snap comes following a November which was mild, with lower rainfall than usual.

Met Éireann's November summary indicated that there was also more sunshine than is usually recorded at that time of year, although temperatures were below the November average.

Its autumn summary noted that the season was characterised by unsettled weather, notably due to Storm Ophelia, which hit in October.

September was cool and unsettled. Storm Brian affected the country to a lesser extent on Saturday, October 21.

November continued changeable and unsettled.

Meanwhile, with heavy frost at the very least and the potential for sleet and snow in the capital, Brian McLoughlin of the Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) organisation said there was concern about the number of rough sleepers on the streets.

After the deaths of two rough sleepers last week, he warned that there could be further deaths before the full quota of extra beds is introduced as part of the Government's winter initiative.

Some 107 people were recorded sleeping rough in Dublin on Sunday night.

Streets

"We saw two deaths in the space of 48 hours last week. We are fearful that there will be another death before all the beds are in place by December 18," Mr McLoughlin said.

Some 200 extra beds have been promised by December 18, although it is understood that only upwards of 60 are in place at this point.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive has said that it has a further 67 emergency spaces available for people sleeping rough.

Irish Independent

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